Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 08 June 2011

Venue: Room 29

The meeting opened in public session at 10.03 am.

Agreed : Members agreed that a BBC television unit should be permitted to film part of the proceedings.

1. Apologies

Apologies are listed above.

10.06 am Mr Chris Lyttle joined the meeting

2. Chair’s Business
  • The Chairperson advised members of his attendance at various events on behalf of the Committee for Employment and Learning.
  • The Chairperson drew members’ attention to the initial stages of the Budget Bill to be debated in the Assembly next week and suggested that a proposed briefing from the Department should be brought forward.

Agreed: Members agreed to reschedule the Departmental briefing.

  • The Chairperson referred members to a request from the Department to postpone a briefing on the outcome of the June Monitoring Round.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to confirm that the briefing should proceed on 22 June as previously arranged.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 1 June 2011

Agreed: The minutes were agreed

4. Matter arising

Members noted a list of matters arising from the previous meeting.

5. Briefing from the Minister and his officials on the work of the Department

Members were briefed by the Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr Stephen Farry, and the Deputy Secretaries, Mrs Catherine Bell and Mr Andrew Hamilton, on the current issues faced by the Department. The briefing was followed by a question and answer session during which the officials agreed to provide the Committee with further information on a range of issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for further information on the review of student fees and finance.

11.30 am Mr David McIlveen left the meeting

11.32 am Mr Sammy Douglas left the meeting

6. Committee motion on the Agency Workers Directive

Members considered alternative suggestions for the wording of the proposed Committee motion on the Agency Workers Directive.

Agreed: Members agreed the wording of a motion to be tabled in the Assembly Business Office.

11.39 am Mr Sammy Douglas rejoined the meeting

Agreed: Members agreed to schedule further briefings on the Agency Workers Directive at its next meeting.

7. Subordinate Legislation

Members considered the following SL1 proposals for Statutory Rules and were briefed by Mr Tom Evans, Employment Relations Policy and Regulation Branch, on the policy content of each proposal.

• The Industrial Court (Membership) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011

• The Employment Act (Northern Ireland) 2010(Commencement and Transitional Provision) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011

Agreed: The Committee was content for the Department to proceed to make these Rules.

8. Briefing on the responses to the DEL consultation on a Strategy for Higher Education

Sir Graeme Davies, Chairperson of the Higher Education Strategy Steering Group, and Mr Fergus Devitt, Director of Higher Education, briefed the Committee on the responses to the recent public consultation by the Department on its proposed strategy for Higher Education in Northern Ireland.

12.03 pm Mr Pat Ramsey left the meeting

12.21 pm Ms Michelle Gildernew left the meeting

12.33 pm Mr Jim Allister left the meeting

12.39 pm Mr Chris Lyttle left the meeting

Agreed: Members agreed to forward the Hansard transcript of their discussion to the Department as the Committee’s response to the consultation.

9. Correspondence

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

a. A letter from the Construction Employers Federation, congratulating the Chair on his appointment and requesting to brief the Committee to discuss ways in which DEL can help the construction industry to drive economic growth.

Agreed: Members agreed to schedule a briefing after the summer recess.

b. A monthly update from the Department on Apprentices for June 2011

Agreed: Members agreed to note this correspondence.

c. A copy of the response from Colleges NI to the Department’s consultation on Widening Participation.

Agreed: Members agreed to note this response.

d. A press release from Colleges NI regarding the recent BEST Awards.

Agreed: Members agreed to note this correspondence.

e. A letter from the Clerk to the OFMDFM Committee, attaching a letter from the Chairperson to the First and deputy First Minister, regarding the ongoing Review of Arm’s Length Bodies.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department urging it to undertake a similar review.

f. A letter from the Department detailing the proposed closure of the Jobs and Benefits project which has been delivered jointly by DSD and DEL.

Agreed: Members agreed to write to DEL to ask to be kept updated of any further developments.

10. Draft Forward Work programme

Members considered the draft Forward Work Programme for the period before summer recess.

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

Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold its meeting on 29 June 2011 at the Lisburn campus of the South-Eastern regional College

11. Any Other Business

There was no other business.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 at 10.00 am in Room 29, Parliament Building

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.48 pm.

Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning

15 June 2011

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