Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 10.08 am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chair’s Business

Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold a joint meeting with the Committee for Education on 29 May 2012, in order to discuss the Committees’ concerns on the Review of Teacher Education.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold an additional meeting on 29 May 2012 to consider the Department’s submission to the June Monitoring Round.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 9 May 2012

Agreed: The minutes of the meeting were agreed.

4. Matters arising

  • Agreed: The Committee agreed to record its thanks to the Committee staff for their work in facilitating and reporting on its consultation on the dissolution and transfer of functions of the Department.
  • Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the First Minister and deputy First Minister to request a response to the Committee Report on the dissolution and transfer of functions of the Department.
  • The Committee noted a list of matters arising from the previous meeting.

Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered the SL1 proposal for The Student Fees (Amounts) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer further consideration pending an oral briefing from the Department.

5. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered the SL1 proposal for The Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012.

10.21 am Mr Barry McElduff joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content for the Department to make the Statutory Rule.

6. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee was briefed on the SL1 proposal for The Labour Relations Agency Arbitration Scheme Order (Northern Ireland) 2012, by Mr Tom Evans, Assistant Director, Strategy, European and Employment Relations Division, and Dr Alan Scott, Employment Relations Policy and Legislation Branch.

10.36 am Mr Jim Allister joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content for the Department to make the Statutory Rule.

Agreed: The Committee raised concerns about the importance of a review mechanism, and agreed to write to the Department for further information on this.

7. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee was briefed on the SL1 proposal for The Labour Relations Agency Arbitration Scheme (Jurisdiction) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012, by Mr Tom Evans, Assistant Director, Strategy, European and Employment Relations Division, and Dr Alan Scott, Employment Relations Policy and Legislation Branch.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content for the Department to make the Statutory Rule.

9. Briefing from the Bytes Project

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.38 am.

The Committee was briefed by Ms Laura Couser, Project Director, Ms Amanda Stuart and Mr Ronan Rafferty, Development Officers, and Ms Sinead Blair, Learning and Development officer, on the Bytes Project.  Carly Richardson, Joe Ferris and Harry Dunn, Project participants, also gave the Committee an insight into their experiences of the Project.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

11.06 am Mr Sammy Douglas left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for Employment and Learning, and to the Department of Education, on funding issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to send a copy of the Hansard transcript of the briefing to the Minister for information.

Representatives left the meeting at 11.47 am

11.47 am Ms Michelle Gildernew left the meeting.

11.47 am Mr Pat Ramsey left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a research paper on the organisations involved in working with young people.

10. Correspondence

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 11.

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • Departmental Response on its consultation on the Regulations to Prohibit the Blacklisting of Trade Unionists

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this Response.

  • Response from the Department to the Committee’s request for consultation responses to the Teacher Education Review

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of Education to request copies of these consultation responses.

  • Memo from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding the Budget Allocations for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.

  • Memo from the Committee for the Environment regarding the Northern Ireland Climate Bill Stakeholder Event

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this Memo.

  • Correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure requesting a briefing from the Department for Employment and Learning on the Creative Industry

Agreed: The Committee agreed to pass this request to the Department.

  • Correspondence from the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities requesting an opportunity to brief the Committee

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing.

  • Correspondence, copied to the Committee for information, from Amnesty International to the Minister, raising awareness of the National University of Ireland draft charter for human rights for Irish third-level institutions operating in countries with poor human rights records

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.

  • Correspondence from the Chamber of Commerce in response to the consultation and transfer of functions of the Department for Employment and Learning

Agreed: The Committee agreed to include this correspondence in its final Report.

The Committee also noted a number of invitations received.

11.51 am Mr Pat Ramsey rejoined the meeting.

11. Departmental Briefing on the Up-Skilling of the Northern Ireland Workforce

Officials joined the meeting at 11.52 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Michael Gould, Assistant Director of Skills and Industry Division, Mr Mervyn Langtry, Head of Skills Delivery Branch, and Mr Tim Devine, Head of Management Development and Investors in People, on up-skilling the workforce in Northern Ireland.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

12.17 pm Ms Michelle Gildernew rejoined the meeting.

12.29 pm Mr Pat Ramsey left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for further information on up-skilling programmes.

Officials left the meeting at 12.35 pm.

12. Draft Forward Work Programme

The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme up to 4 July 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content to schedule these briefings.

13.  Any Other Business

  • There was no other business.

14. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday, 23 May 2012, at 10.00 am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.37 pm.

Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning
23 May 2012

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