From education to employment

#Brexit preparations for further education and apprenticeship providers

What organisations and businesses should do to get ready for Brexit.

The EU Settlement Scheme

Inform staff, students and apprentices (or parents and carers of students and apprentices if appropriate) who are EUEEA or Swiss citizens that they need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 2020.

Read the guidance on EU Settlement Scheme to find out who needs to apply.

Use the toolkit for employers to help your employees.

Irish citizens’ right to live in the UK will not change when the UK leaves the EU. Irish citizens do not need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, but their family members who are not Irish or British citizens will need to do so.

Staff and apprentices from the EU arriving after Brexit

There will be no change to the way EU, EEA and Swiss citizens prove their right to work until 1 January 2021. This remains the same if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Irish citizens will continue to have the right to work in the UK and prove their right to work as they do now, for example by using their passport.

You should continue to conduct right to work checks on all prospective employees to comply with the codes of practice on the prevention of illegal working and the avoidance of unlawful discrimination.

Read employing EUEEA and Swiss citizens and their family members after Brexit to make sure they can work in the UK.

Check eligibility for places and funding in academic years 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021

Adults aged 19 and over in further education and those seeking apprenticeships

EUEEA and Swiss citizens, who qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme, will still be able to get funding for further education and be eligible to apply for apprenticeships in England on broadly the same basis as now.

Irish citizens will still be able to access further education and be eligible to apply for apprenticeships in England, in the same way as now.

EUEEA and Swiss citizens and their family members starting further education courses in England in these years will still be able to get FE support. This will be for the whole of their further education course.

EUEEA and Swiss citizens and their family members starting an apprenticeship in England in these years can continue as long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

EUEEA and Swiss citizens will also be able to access Advanced Learner Loans from Student Finance England during this time.

Tell prospective and current students or apprentices that they can get more information including about the current eligibility rules about the eligibility rules at:

UK nationals studying and living in the EUEEA or Switzerland should read the guidance on rights of UK nationals.

Access to funding for 16 to 19 education and training

Eligibility for this funding is based on the student’s right to reside in the UK and this will not change.

Read the funding guidance for young people 2019 to 2020: funding regulations that sets out the eligibility rules that apply for all of the funding year 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020, whether we leave the EU with or without a deal.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Further education and apprenticeships are devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Students and apprentices should contact their relevant student funding body or provider for more information.

Checking for EEA teacher sanctions or restrictions

If there’s a no-deal Brexit, EEA professional regulating authorities will no longer be required to automatically share details of any sanction or restriction imposed on teachers with the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA). This means the TRA will no longer automatically receive or maintain details of those teachers who have been sanctioned, post exit, in EEA member states.

In this case colleges must continue to carry out the same safer recruitment checks for applicants who have lived or worked outside the UK as they currently do for all other staff. In addition, colleges must continue to make any further checks they think appropriate so they can consider any relevant events that occurred outside the UK. Colleges will be able to apply the same processes as they do when employing an individual from the rest of the world.

If the UK leaves with a deal, the existing system for checking EEA sanctions will remain in place until at least 31 December 2020.

When the UK leaves the EU we will update the keeping children safe in educationstatutory safeguarding guidance to reflect these changes.

Food supplies

Contact your food supplier or suppliers, where applicable, to make sure they:

  • are planning for the potential impacts of a no-deal Brexit, including:
    • ensuring that their secondary suppliers are prepared
    • plans to adapt menus to allow for product substitution if necessary
  • can continue to meet nutritional standards
  • can continue to meet special dietary needs and manage allergies

Where an individual meets the criteria for free meals, the meal must be provided, free of charge.

Data protection

Read the Brexit guide: data protection for education providers to find out what you need to do to remain compliant with data protection laws after Brexit.

European Social Fund

The UK would continue to participate in the European Social Fund (ESF) programmes financed by the current EU Budget until their closure, if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. This means that all ESF programmes would be fully funded until the end of 2020.

The government guarantee would cover all ESF projects that would have been funded by the EU until the end of 2020, if there’s a no-deal Brexit. Organisations in receipt of EU funding should refer to the guidance on European Social Fund grants in a no deal Brexit.


You should continue to deliver any Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) projects that are contracted.

If we leave with a deal participation in Erasmus+ will continue until 2020.

You may no longer receive EU funding for Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) projects if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

Read our guidance for more information and register to claim from the government guarantee.

Travel to the EU

Read information on the actions that you’ll need to take if you are arranging trips to the EU and access to healthcare for UK nationals studying or travelling abroad if you are planning a trip to Europe after Brexit. Collective passports will remain in force.

Check the foreign travel advice pages for the latest updates on the relevant country and sign up for an email alert subscription for foreign travel advice.

Follow the guidance on taking equipment to the EU if you are arranging travel to the EUwith sports, exhibitions or other equipment.

Follow the guidance on preparing to drive in the EU after Brexit for bus and coach drivers if relevant.


Advice for further education and apprenticeship providers in England on how to prepare for Brexit



Preparations that organisations and businesses should make for Brexit.

It is for:

  • further education (FE) and training providers
  • sixth-form colleges
  • apprenticeship providers
  • traineeship providers
  • businesses in the UK employing apprentices or trainees

Published 31 January 2019
Last updated 19 August 2019 + show all updates

  1. Format updates have been made to highlight actions that people need to take. A link has also been added that allows people to sign up for email alerts to get the latest information about Brexit.
  2. Updated information for further education institutions and apprenticeship providers in England on how to prepare for Brexit.
  3. First published.

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