Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Venue: The Armagh Planetarium

The meeting opened in public session at 10.18 am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chairperson's Business

  • The Chair and Members welcomed Mr Phil Flanagan MLA to the Committee.
  • The Chair met with the Minister for Employment and Learning and discussed the redundancies announced by FG Wilson.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a research paper on youth training programmes.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2012

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 considered a draft response to the Committee for OFMDFM to its consultation on Legislative proposals for the Office of the Ombudsman and Commissioner for Complaints.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for OFMDFM.

  • The Committee considered a draft response to the Committee for OFMDFM to its request for information on Committee EU Activity.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for OFMDFM.

  • The Committee noted a briefing paper regarding recommendations to encourage increased participation in Framework 7 and the Horizon 2020 Programme as discussed at last week's meeting.
  • The Committee discussed a Research and Information Service research paper on EU Employment Forum Conference to be held in Brussels on 27-28 November 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to return to this item at next week's meeting.

5. Briefing from the Director of Armagh Planetarium

The representative joined the meeting at 10.26 am.

10.31 am Mr Ross joined the meeting.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Tom Mason MBE, Director of Armagh Planetarium.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure, providing a copy of the Hansard of the briefing, and seeking information on the funding available for the Armagh Planetarium and what opportunities there are for joined up working with the Department of Education and the Department for Employemnt and Learning in respect of the work of the Planetarium.

The representative left the meeting at 11.10 am.

6. Briefing from Dr Charles Wessner on Promoting Innovation and Emerging Technologies

The representative joined the meeting at 11.10 am.

The Committee was briefed by Dr Charles Wessner, Director, Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, at the National Academies, on Promoting Innovation and Emerging Technologies.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

11.23 am Mr Lyttle joined the meeting.

11.55 am Mr Ross left the meeting.

Dr Wessner agreed to provide further information to the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to provide a copy of the Hansard of the briefing session and the paper provided by Dr Wessner and his slides to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment for information.

The representative left the meeting at 12.09 pm.

12.09 am Mr Ramsey left the meeting.

7. Consideration of the Committee for Employment and Learning End of Session Report 2011-2012

The Committee considered a draft End of Session Report for 2011-2012 for the Committee for Employment and Learning.

Agreed: The Committee agreed for the End of Session Report to be published on the Assembly website.

8. Correspondence

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • Research Review - Recent Research Publications Relevant for Employment and Learning (DEL): April – June 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the paper.

  • EU press release - Employment: Commission proposes €7.4 million from Globalisation Fund for former workers of Vestas Group in Denmark.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to copy to the Department and ask for comments.

  • Invitation from Employers for Childcare to Launch of social Enterprise Qualification event on Wednesday 3 October 2012 in Parliament Buildings.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.

  • Department of Education response to the Committee's request on funding issues which were raised during a briefing by representatives of the Bytes Project.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward to the Bytes Project requesting its comments on whether it is content with the conditions set out in the letter of offer referred to in the correspondence.

  • Department of Education response to the Committee's request for information on the Entitlement Framework Fund, used to fund careers and STEM activities, which is due to run out in the year 2013 and information on the future budget allocations to individual schools and colleges for the provision of careers services.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider as part of its Inquiry into Careers Services.

  • Joint Department of Education and Department for Employment and Learning Draft Executive Paper issued to Executive Ministers seeking approval to consult on a General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) Bill.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

  • Request from the Committee for Education that they continue to receive updates on the Committee's Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to keep the Committee for Education informed of progress of the Committee Inquiry.

  • Request from the Committee for Education to hold a joint meeting with the Committee for Employment and Learning with representatives of the University of Ulster to assess the potential outcome regarding errors by the University of Ulster allocation of places in August 2012, and to seek information on whether this error had adversely affected some A-level student's, particularly those seeking careers in STEM subjects.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Education advising that during last week's meeting the Committee raised with the Minister the errors at UU and he advised that the impact of the errors would not be known until December 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of Employment and Learning for information on the potential impact on A-level students.

  • Response from MATRIX: The Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel to the Employment & Learning Committee's request for its views on Careers Advice, Information, Advice & Guidance.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider as part of its Inquiry into CEIAG.

  • Department for Finance and Personnel report, 'IN-YEAR MONITORING OF PUBLIC EXPENDITURE 2013 GUIDELINES'.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the report.

  • Request by representatives of Service Co (SERCO), visiting Northern Ireland on 25 & 26 September 2012 to meet, the Chairperson to discuss business opportunities in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed, if the Chairperson is available he should meet the representatives.

  • Letter from the Chairperson of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment Re: Large scale job losses at FG Wilson Ltd and difficulties encountered by employees as a result of Target Express being put into administration.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward to the Department for comment.

  • European Commission Press release 14 /09/12 - Where you live in Europe can strongly influence your education and prospects in life, according to a new European Commission report entitled 'Mind the Gap'.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the press release.

  • The Chairperson highlighted the official opening of Belfast Metroploitan College's E3 Campus.

Agreed: The Clerk to ascertain why the Committee Members were not invited.

12.11 am Mr McCann left the meeting.

9. Draft Forward Work Programme

The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme up to 14 November 2012.

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

10. Any Other Business

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development to request information on what initiatives her Department is undertaking in relation to creating jobs in rural areas, and in particular, in how much funding is available to employment, education and training initiatives aimed at job creation and how that funding is allocated .

11. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday, 26 September 2012, at 11.00 am in the Britannic Suite, Titanic Building, Belfast.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.16 pm.

Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning
26 September 2012

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