Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Wednesday, 01 May 2013

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 10.05 am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chairperson's Business

• The Chairperson advised Members that he and the Clerk of the Committee visited the Belfast Metropolitan College Titanic Quarter and E3 Campuses and met with the College's Senior Management Team.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold a meeting and visit to Belfast Metropolitan College in the autumn.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to sponsor a fashion show for students of Belfast Metropolitan College in the Great Hall in the autumn

• The Chairperson reminded Members of an Event that the Committee sponsored in the Long Gallery in November 2011 for people with learning difficulties.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to host another event in the autumn for people with learning disabilities.

• The Chairperson advised Members that he was meeting a delegation from the Confederation of British Industry at its request today and that any Members could attend if they wished.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 17 April 2013

Agreed: The minutes of the meeting were agreed.

4. Matters arising

• The Committee noted a list of matters arising from the previous meeting.

• The Committee discussed the workshop on Effective Questioning held on 24 April 2013 in place of a Committee meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to arrange an away day on 4 September 2013 to discuss the next sessions forward work programme.

• The Committee considered correspondence of 31 January 2013 from the Department responding to a Committee request for further information on drop-out rates in the Further Education Sector.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking information on the destination of Further Education students with learning disabilities when they leave College.

10.12 am Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking information on:
• the information provided in the table on the first page of the correspondence broken down by college;
• how student places are funded i.e. whether enrolment, retention or achievement attracts funding;
• definitions of the following categories used as reason left; other personal reasons and dropped out, other, unknown and missing and the difference between each of them; and
• the policies in place to prevent students dropping out and how successful these have been.

• The Committee considered draft correspondence to Mrs Colette Quinn regarding issues she had previously raised.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to Mrs Quinn.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that further correspondence from Mrs Quinn should not be dealt with by the Committee given that the issue is currently the subject of legal proceedings.

5. Correspondence

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

• The Committee considered an Assembly Research and Information Service Paper on Skills Shortages in Germany.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the Research Paper.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Northern Ireland Schools and Colleges Careers Association (NISCA) regarding the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and include in the Inquiry Report.

• The Committee considered a Ministerial response to Committee correspondence regarding the closure of crèches at the University of Ulster.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the University of Ulster for an update on this matter.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to Committee correspondence requesting comment on the potential impact of the Savings Delivery Plans.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department and ask for an update on the Outcomes of Targets for the financial year 2012 - 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking further detailed information on how the Department intends to meet the needs of experienced adult workers and to ascertain which two colleges are in recovery and details of the recovery plans.

• The Committee considered a Ministerial response to Committee correspondence regarding funding for the Entitlement Framework.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Speaker regarding the laying of a public petition in respect of the University of Ulster Day Nurseries.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Minister to Mr Pat Ramsey MLA regarding a petition of concern relating to the closure of crèche facilities by the University of Ulster.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered an invitation from Queen's University, Belfast and the Science and Technology Facilities Council to attend a reception Celebrating Northern Ireland's Involvement in Global Science at the Great Hall, Queen's University, Belfast on 8 May 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.

• The Committee considered an invitation from Colleges NI to attend a visit by Dr Steve Myers, CERN Institute to the Belfast Metropolitan College, Titanic Quarter Campus on 8 May 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.

10.18 am Mr Hilditch joined the meeting.

6. Forward Work Programme

• The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme up to 26 June 2013.

• The Committee considered correspondence from Skill Exchange UK seeking to brief the Committee on Wednesday 8 May 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule the briefing for Wednesday 8 May 2013.

• The Committee considered the arrangements for its meeting scheduled for 12 June 2013 in Londonderry/Derry.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from Opportunity Youth on their Youth Works Programme at that meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit to the Nerve Centre prior to the Committee meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to travel to Londonderry/Derry on Tuesday 11 June 2013.

• The Committee considered the planned briefings on Post 19 SEN Provision.

Agreed: The Committee agreed request that the Assembly Research and Information Service provide a briefing paper on international models of good practise on the issue.

7. Subordinate Legislation: SL1 - The Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 (Disclosure of Higher Education Student Information) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel detailing that it is scrutinising proposals from the Department of Finance and Personnel for a Statutory Rule which will enable the Department for Employment and Learning to disclose selected demographic information from higher education student records to the Statistics Board to be used by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) for the purpose of developing population statistics.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content for the Committee for Finance and Personnel to carry out the scrutiny of this Statutory Rule.

8. Departmental Briefing on Parental Leave

Officials joined the meeting at 10.29 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Tom Evans, Deputy Director, Strategy, European and Employment Relations Division and Dr Alan Scott, Employment Relations Policy and Legislation Branch on Parental Leave.

10.31 am Mr Flanagan joined the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the draft consultation document prior to the Department's consultation.

The officials left the meeting at 11.02 am.

11.02 am Mr Lyttle joined the meeting.

9. Departmental Update Briefing on the Programme for Government Targets

The official joined the meeting at 11.02 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr John Smith, Director of Finance on the Programme for Government Targets.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

The official left the meeting at 11.32 am.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking further information on a range of issues considered during the briefing.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting that a copy of the final Programme for Government targets report is provided for the Committee's consideration prior to publication.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request monthly updates on the overall unemployment figures, broken down into young people and 25+, with details of the numbers entering and leaving employment. The Committee also agreed to receive a quarterly oral briefing on these issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson and the deputy Chairperson would request a meeting with the Minister to discuss issues regarding how the Department provides information to the Committee.

10. Any other Business

None.

11. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday 8 May 2013 at 10:00 am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.38 am.

Mr Robin Swann MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning
8 May 2013

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