With a vote of 51.9% to leave the EU, how does this affect the Further Education, Work Based Learning and Employability sectors? We have asked a number of the sector's experts to share their thoughts. There will obviously be a period of change, but the implications of the Brexit vote are huge, with the Prime Minister already handing in his resignation, but promising to 'steady the ship in the coming months'. 


MarkDawe 100x100Mark Dawe, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said about the news: 

‘We believe that the scheduled April 2017 start for the apprenticeship levy should not be delayed.  If anything, the referendum result means that a skilled British workforce will be needed more than ever, so the target of 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020 takes on a new significance.

All sectors, especially examples such as construction, hospitality and care, are and will be heavily dependent on having good quality training in place, so it is vital that government investment in skills programmes is maintained backed by the levy.’


david hughes 100 x100David Hughes, chief executive at the Learning and Work Institute shares his views on the Brexit vote:

“The decision of the British people to leave the European Union presents a period of great uncertainty across many areas of society and the economy. It is too early to properly understand what this might mean for the FE sector although there are clearly some obvious questions about transition from funding through the European Social Fund and Erasmus as well as critical issues about EU students and their status in the future. Prior to the vote there was already some unease about the lack of details about apprenticeship reforms; now we need decisive action from BIS to provide certainty about the reforms. More delays will lead to more caution by colleges, providers and employers and the result will be people missing out on apprenticeship opportunities.”


Kirstie McHugh ERSA 100x100Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive of the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) shared her thoughts on the news: "

Today’s referendum result is likely to have far reaching implications – for the economy, for employment levels and, as a consequence, for the employment support sector.  Many of these implications are hard to predict.  However, I wanted to share with you our understanding at this point in time.

Many of you hold DWP contracts or hope to hold DWP contracts.  We have been in contact with the DWP and asked that a statement is put out to the sector.  We are aware that it will take time to work through the  implications of the vote with HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office.

Our understanding is that the DWP element of the Work and Health Programme procurement is not affected by the decision.  However, what is now uncertain is the extent to which additional ESF monies can be committed to the contracts at combined authority level. 

Many organisations are bidding for ESF contracts at the moment.  It is uncertain how long negotiation of withdrawal from the European Union will take. The speculation is that this will be a minimum of two years from the triggering of Article 50.  This could well mean that ESF monies are likely to be safe until 2018 as a result. However, there will need to be confirmation of this from HM Treasury before new ESF contracts can be let. 

The situation is different for contracts which are already let.  The Big Lottery Fund, for instance, has today put out this statement on the Building Better Opportunities programme:

"Building Better Opportunities is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. The Big Lottery Fund remains committed to the Building Better Opportunities programme until delivery is complete in 2020. We look forward to working with grant holders on local projects that will tackle poverty and promote social inclusion”

There are also, as we know, political implications.  Although we expect the big policy drivers in our world (the aim of halving the disability employment gap for instance and a focus on youth unemployment) to remain in place, clearly the change in Prime Minister will lead to a number of unknowns.  We will keep all ERSA members briefed on developments.

Finally, ERSA’s job is to make the case for social spending on programmes which reduce unemployment amongst today’s and tomorrow’s jobseekers, regardless of membership of the European Union. We do not know what will happen to unemployment in the short, medium or longer term, but we do know that the government, in a post EU world, will want to keep unemployment in check and that our programmes are a key component in delivering this. 

Our strong push will therefore be twofold – first, to ensure that expected procurements take place as soon as practicable; and second, to work with partners, including local authorities, LEPs and other agencies, to make sure that monies that are lost to social spending through the end of structural funds in the longer term are replaced through other means."


jim carley 100x100

Jim Carley from Carley Consult shared the following about the Brexit news “Following the Leave vote the key for the sector now is to understand how the EU exit negotiations may impact upon it, such as how it will affect the delivery of ESF programmes and access to provision for EU nationals. Just as pertinent will be the impending Cabinet shake-up following the departure of David Cameron, which could see new Ministers taking on responsibility for key reforms at a critical time, such as the Work & Health Programme and Apprenticeship Levy. Providers and colleges will be anxious to get greater certainty of future funding and commissioning, but the political fall-out may well make this far harder to plan for.”  Prior to the Brexit vote, Jim Carley shared some thoughts on the implications of a Brexit in this article


fran parry 100x100Fran Parry, from Bright Sparks Consultancy Ltd shares: “The full ramifications of the Brexit decision will take months, even years, to play out. We need to approach this new era with calmness and a resolve to continue to work for the very best outcomes for our customers. However two particular concerns come to mind and need to be resolved quickly. Firstly, much provision that currently supports our most challenged communities is currently resourced from European Social Funding (ESF) and we must ensure that comparative funding is  available from UK Treasury and if necessary we must push for these 'UKSF' resources to be appropriately ring-fenced. Secondly, and more immediately, politicians who have been focused on the campaign must now re-engage with their portfolios as a matter of priority and commit themselves to supporting their departments through these complex times. On Monday  it must be 'business as usual’.

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 2 hours 11 minutes ago

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 hours 12 minutes ago

RT @NCFE: ‘For as long as humans have worked, and whatever industry they may have worked in, success has always been predicated on having t…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page