Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Venue: Room 29

The meeting opened in public session at 10.04 am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chairperson’s Business

  • The Chairperson advised Members that they should make their Inquiry packs available to Committee Staff to update with additional information.
  • The Chairperson advised the Committee of the study visit to the University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus on 20 March as part of its Inquiry into Careers and informed the Committee that a report of the visit will be produced in the coming weeks for inclusion in the Committee’s report.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the University of Ulster to thank it for its hospitality.
  • The Chairperson informed Members that he met representatives from the University and College Union on 19 March at which they raised a number of concerns relating to the Department of Employment and Learning.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for Employment and Learning and the Minister for Education requesting information on changes made to the funding for the delivery of the Entitlement Framework.
  • The Chairperson informed Members that he met representatives of the Open University on Monday 8 April for an informal meeting.
  • The Chairperson advised Members of the Open University Showcase event in the Long Gallery on Tuesday 9 April, which was hosted by the Committee.

10.08 am Mr Hilditch joined the meeting.

  • The Chairperson informed Members that he and the Deputy Chairperson and the Clerk met with the Minister on 9 April ahead of the Minister’s oral statement on developing a new strategy to tackle economic inactivity.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 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 Chairperson advised Members of the informal meeting on 20 March with some parents and staff affected by the closure of crèche facilities at the University of Ulster. The Committee noted that correspondence was sent to the Minister and Vice-Chancellor on this issue and responses have been received.

10.14 am Mr Allister joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence from the University and   from the Minister to the Committee for Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, the Committee for Education and to the parents group.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister expressing its concerns regarding the closure of the crèche facilities, querying how this fits with the key aim of widening participation, specifically for single parents and to ask the Minister to encourage the University of Ulster to keep the crèche facilities open to allow a private body or a social enterprise from outside the University of Ulster to provide a service.

  • The Committee noted a response from the Department of Learning and Employment on the statistical breakdown of the “into employment” data presented to the Committee on 20 February2013.
  • The Committee noted a response from the Department for Employment and Learning to the Committee’s request for further information on certain points in the tables regarding European Commission Legislative and Non-Legislative Proposals for 2013.

5. Briefing from Northern Ireland Schools and Colleges Careers Association (NISCA) on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.20 am.

The Committee was briefed by Ms Cathy Moore, Chairperson, NISCA, Ms Fiona Browne, Head of Careers, Grosvenor Grammar School and Ms Julie Richardson, Head of Careers, Ballyclare High School on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland.

10.24 am Mr Lyttle joined the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to NISCA for further evidence on the reduction of school budgets for CEIAG provision.

11.00 am Mr Hilditch left the meeting.

Representatives left the meeting at 11.04 am.           

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of Education requesting information on how Preparing for Success Strategy was implemented in Primary Schools and information on whether the budget for the provision of careers advice in schools has reduced, and, if so, by how much and what impact that reduction has had.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request an Assembly Research and Information Service research paper on a list of organisations who provide CEIAG to schools such as charities and voluntary organisations and to highlight how the organisations are funded and to identify what schools they work with.

11.05 am Mr Lyttle left the meeting.

6. Briefing from the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland

Representatives joined the meeting at 11.06 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mrs Patricia Lewsley-Mooney, the, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People and Ms Mairead McCafferty, Chief Executive, on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland.

11.08 am Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

11.39 am Mr Allister left the meeting.

11.39 am Mr McCann left the meeting.

The representatives left the meeting at 11.41 am.

7. Subordinate Legislation: SR 2013 - 68 The Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

Agreed: That the Committee for Employment and Learning has considered SR 2013 - 68 The Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013, and has no objection to the rule.”

8. Correspondence

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • The Committee considered a Ministerial response to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment’s correspondence on his statement on Apprenticeships.
    Agreed: The Committee noted the response and agreed to forward it to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment for information.
  • The Committee considered the Investment Strategy 2011 - 2012 Update for the third quarter March 2013.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the update report.
  • The Committee considered correspondence from the Minister for Employment and Learning to the Chairperson of the Committee for Education regarding the Committee Stage of the Education Bill.
    Agreed: The Committee noted that it had already been forwarded to the Committee for Education.
  • The Committee considered a response from Queen’s University Belfast regarding CERN’s Student Programme and Sandwich Year Programme.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • The Committee considered correspondence from Bombardier Aerospace regarding the Launch of the Aerospace Industrial Strategy.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • The Committee considered correspondence from the Minister for Employment and Learning giving notice of his intention to make an oral statement on Developing a New Strategy to Tackle Economic Inactivity.
    Agreed: The Committee noted that this was emailed to Members on 22 March 2013.
  • The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Education regarding a joint meeting on the Review of Teacher Education.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting an update on the Review of Teacher Education.
  • The Committee considered a press release from Queen’s University Belfast on its Super Solvents being voted the most important British innovation of the 20th Century.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the press release.
  • The Committee considered an additional response from Action on Hearing Loss to the Committee Inquiry into Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to include the additional response in the Inquiry report.
  • The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Education to the Minister for Employment and Learning regarding coaching qualifications and teacher training.
    Agreed: The Committee noted that the correspondence had been forwarded to the Minister during recess.

11.46 am Mr McCann rejoined the meeting.

  • The Committee considered correspondence from an individual regarding a number of issues.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to review the regulations on writing to the Northern Ireland Executive before proceeding with this matter.
  • The Committee considered Departmental Statistical Bulletins on Apprenticeships NI and on Training for Success and Programme Led Apprenticeships
    Agreed: The Committee agreed that, in future, Statistics Bulletins will be emailed out to Members rather than being included in the Meeting pack.
  • The Committee considered a Departmental response to the Committee request for information on jobs and secondments in European Union Institutions.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • The Committee considered an additional response from Northern Ireland Sector Skills Council to the Committee Inquiry into Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to include the additional response in the Inquiry report.
  • The Committee considered an Assembly Research and Information Service paper on Barriers to Employment Led Training.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the research paper.
  • The Committee considered the Departmental Investing Activity Report for March 2013 from the Strategic Investment Board.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the report.
  • The Committee considered a Departmental response to the Committee request for information on access to college and university sports facilities.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure for information.
  • The Committee considered the Departmental draft response to the consultation on Steps 2 Success.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • The Committee considered an Assembly Research and Information Service paper on Examples of International Employment Law.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the research paper.
  • The Committee considered an Assembly Research and Information Service paper on disability and access to qualifications and employment.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the research paper.
  • The Committee considered an Assembly Research and Information Service paper on The Work Programme.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the research paper.
  • The Committee considered correspondence from DHM Associates 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 consultation document from the Department of the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister on the draft inquiry rules - Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse 1922 - 1995.
    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 celebrate Northern Ireland’s Involvement in Global Sciences.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.
  • The Committee considered an invitation from Queen’s University Belfast to the “Thinking Forward Through the Past” Showcase event.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.
  • The Committee considered an invitation from the Open University to a degree ceremony to celebrate the achievement of this year’s graduates. The Chairman said that he would be attending.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.
  • The Committee considered correspondence from Queen’s University Belfast detailing the timetable of events for the CERN Large Hadron Collider Roadshow.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.

9. Forward Work Programme

  • The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme up to 5 June 2013.
  • The Committee considered Departmental correspondence requesting that the briefing on the Review of Apprenticeships be rescheduled for 29 May as the Department will be in a better position to provide information on its initial information gathering.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to reschedule the briefing on the Review of Apprenticeships to 29 May.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to reschedule the briefing by the Department on the Action Plan for the North West Regional College from the 29 May to the 12 June 2013.

10. Any other Business

  • Mr Ross raised the issue of the good work being carried out by Phoenix Gas and others in their apprenticeship policies.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to host an event to showcase companies which run apprenticeship schemes.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to request an Assembly Research and Information Service research paper on those organisations that run internal apprenticeship schemes.

11. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday 17 April 2013 at 10:00 am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.55 pm.

Mr Robin Swann MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning

17 April 2013

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