Apprenticeship Eligibility

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Emma M 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • Emma M
    Participant

    Hi,

    We’re having some discussions around a particular employee and whether they are or aren’t eligible for an apprenticeship.

    The person in question is a British Citizen, but has been living and working in Australia since 2017 and has only recently come back to the UK.

    I’m saying no, but our HR team are interpreting the rules differently and are saying yes. I’ve asked the helpdesk but aren’t really getting very far with them…

    How do people interpret the rules in this particular situation? Are there other questions we should be asking? I’m not bothered if I’m wrong and being too hard, but if HR aren’t right I need a way of explaining this to them they’ll understand (which I seem to be struggling with at the moment!). Thanks!

     
    #411104

    jessicar
    Participant

    They wouldn’t be eligible under paragraph 311 as they haven’t been living in the UK for the previous 3 years.

    However do they have any family members in the EEA who have lived there for 3 years+ whilst the apprentice has been in Australia? If so have a look at paragraphs 320 to 322 as they may qualify as being a family member of an EU/EEA citizen.

    Ps if you are not an employer provider these paragraph reference will be different in the other versions of the funding documents – but you need to be reading annex A

     
    #411127

    Ruth CJ
    Participant

    Agree with jessicar. The family member that has been in the UK for the last three years would have to be a “husband, wife, civil partner, child, grandchild, dependent parent or grandparent”. Good luck working our what counts as a “dependant” parent or grandparent though. I tried that recently and went down a rabbit hole of immigration rules, and still didn’t have an answer. It makes a difference how old they are, whether they’re retired, whether they’re single or married etc. Nowhere does the ESFA guidance explain what a dependant parent is.

     
    #411145

    Emma M
    Participant

    Hiya,

    So the pushback I’m getting is that they are a British Citizen. And HR are reading the eligibility rules and saying that they can’t see where it says a British Citizen can’t claim funding – only situations where EEA and EU residents can or can’t claim it.

    We’re an Employer Provider, so I’ve checked paragraph 311 in the Provider rules and that section is about EEA Citizens. The paragraph says to check the list of EEA countries (which I assume are the ones relevant to this rule) and the UK isn’t in that list.

    I hope I’m making sense!

     
    #411175

    steveh
    Participant

    Um, which list are you looking at because the UK is definitely a member of EEA on the basis that it’s a member of the EU!!!*

    EEA is just EU27 plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and (for the basis of funding) Switzerland

    *sentence correct at time of typing

     
    #411179

    Emma M
    Participant

    Hiya,

    I know it is! (and the asterisk was a nice touch :o)!).

    This list in the funding rules. The EEA section asks you to reference P337. HR’s point is that the UK isn’t on that, therefore there must be different arrangements for UK citizens who have lived and worked abroad.

    The paragraph reference (311) references EEA citizens. So are we for the purposes of apprenticeship eligibility treating that paragraph as a cover all for everyone including British citizens?

    I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m being dense, but I’m getting a lot of questions thrown at me about this and I’m trying to make absolutely clear that I’m refusing correctly, as they are saying I’m wrong and that this learner should be eligible for funding as she is a British Citizen, not an EEA Citizen.

     
    #411192

    jessicar
    Participant

    Argh, see what they are referring to, but P311 is the key point. P337 is referring to the Overseas territories only (maybe a comma missing so they are interpreting this whole sentence incorrect?) Should maybe read as:
    P312 The European Economic Area (EEA) includes all the countries, AND THE territories listed below (from IN paragraph P337).

    and Yes to this as Brits are EEA citizens:
    The paragraph reference (311) references EEA citizens. So are we for the purposes of apprenticeship eligibility treating that paragraph as a cover all for everyone including British citizens?

     
    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by  jessicar.
    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by  jessicar.
    #411202

    steveh
    Participant

    Yeah, the rules are slightly weirdly written there because 337 is the odd bits of otherwise usual countries, not actual countries and *definitely* not a list of EEA members…

    The thing is nowhere does it say “UK Citizens are automatically eligible” (because they’re not), all of the rules are predicated on the phrase “EU/EEA Citizens” being understood to include the UK.

     
    #411204

    Emma M
    Participant

    Hi,

    I think that’s what they can’t understand – why a UK citizen isn’t automatically eligible for funding.

    Is there anything anywhere that says this Steveh:

    The thing is nowhere does it say “UK Citizens are automatically eligible” (because they’re not), all of the rules are predicated on the phrase “EU/EEA Citizens” being understood to include the UK.

    Because I can’t see it in the funding rules and I can’t seem to prove it to them!

     
    #411246

    jessicar
    Participant

    P311 is where is says it, just not in the words you want:
    Eligible if a EEA citizen (aka UK) AND have lived here for 3 years, therefore not automatically eligible.

    By reading the funding rules often enough, you learnt to read between the lines, which is a concept non funding staff find difficult to understand.

     
    #411253

    Emma M
    Participant

    This may be another obvious question – but how do we know that then? That’s the assumption I’ve operated under, but how do we know that if it isn’t documented anywhere?

    I want to help the non funding staff understand it – hence all the questions!

     
    #411262

    steveh
    Participant

    Boy, hadn’t realised how badly the Rules were laid out these days…

    Three years ordinary residence within the EEA is the key thing which para 311 *tries* to make clear and fails!

    Because this is the basis for *all* ESFA funding and has been since the dawn of time (or, at least, all of this century) I guess it’s regarded as a truth, self evident, and thus the fact that it’s pretty buried under a bunch of possible exceptions is not that surprising…

     
    #411266

    Emma M
    Participant

    I have spoken to our Account Manager about this, because I’ve said it is completely unclear and the knowledge is being passed down rather than able to be gleaned from the funding rules. She’s asking some questions for us to get absolute clarity, but it’s not helpful when the rules don’t really give you the guidance you need.

    I’m glad that my inability to “see” this is because in reality it isn’t actually there…..!

     
    #411270
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