28 June 2016

Following Thursday's referendum decision to leave the European Union, ERSA released this statement regarding potential implications for the sector. More details on the repercussions of this momentum event are set out below.

The first ERSA London Employment Support Network meeting will take place this Wednesday, 29 June from 10am-12pm, The meeting has seen exceptional demand, with over 130 attendees registered. It will feature an overview from the Mayor's office, London Councils and APM on Working Capital, plus a discussion about the new network's key priorities.

Referendum result - implications for the sector

The outcome of the referendum vote to leave the EU is likely to have far reaching implications for the economy, for employment levels and, as a consequence, the employment support sector. ERSA's statement set out its understanding as to the implications for ESF monies and current DWP procurements and it will keep the sector informed of developments.

There are of course significant political implications too. The change in Prime Minister and the prospect of another General Election means uncertainty about which policies will remain priorities, while the result also poses new impetus for change in Northern Ireland and Scotland. In addition, there are key changes in the majority of relevant Labour Shadow Cabinet and ministerial posts, with Nick Thomas-Symonds, the Shadow Employment Minister, resigning today.

In this landscape, ERSA's job is to make the case for social spending on programmes which reduce unemployment, by ensuring that expected procurements take place as soon as practicable and that monies that are lost to social spending through the end of structural funding in the longer term are replaced through other means.

Conservative and Labour Party leadership battles

With the PM having already given notice of his resignation, and Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, in the midst of a growing coup with over half his shadow cabinet having resigned, it is increasingly likely that both the Government and the official opposition will have newly elected leaders by party conference season.

For the Conservatives, Boris Johnson is the early favourite leading in the forthcoming leadership election and is thought to have already secured the backing of fellow senior Leave campaigner Michael Gove. Theresa May looks most likely to make it to the last two as the 'anyone but Boris candidate' but, given that early frontrunners famously rarely win Conservative leadership elections, this may well all change in the coming weeks and months.

For Labour, it is simply too early to tell whether any alternative candidate could beat Jeremy Corbyn if there is a party leadership election.

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