Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 06 February 2013

Venue: Room 29

The meeting opened in public session at 10:08 am.   

1. Apologies

None.

2. Chairperson’s Business

  • The Chairperson informed Members of the Committee visit to the South Eastern Regional College, Bangor Campus on 30 January 2013, to receive a presentation on the college’s ‘Getting the Edge’ Programme as part of the Committee’s Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance in Northern Ireland.
  • The Committee considered correspondence from the Learn and Grow organisation.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed that it would not enter into any further communications with this organisation.
  • The Chairperson informed Members of the University of Ulster Showcase event in the Long Gallery on 5 February 2012, sponsored by the Committee.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the University of Ulster thanking it for a successful event.

10.12 am Mr Flanagan joined the meeting.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 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 considered a Departmental progress report on the Programme for Government’s commitments for quarter 3 covering the period of 1 October to 31 December 2012.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Department should brief the Committee on this matter when it comes before the Committee to brief it on the PfG Savings Delivery Plans.
  • The Committee considered a Ministerial response to issues raised by the Committee regarding the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) and discussed introducing a motion into Plenary on the issue.

10.18 am Mr Ramsey left the meeting.

10.19 am Mr Anderson joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee noted that the Minister would not be making a statement to the House on this matter.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request an oral briefing on the European Globalisation Fund and its utilisation elsewhere in Europe, as part of the quarterly update on European issues by the European Thematic Officer, due to be held on 20 February.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that a draft motion and explanation of certain issues regarding the legislation for applying to the fund would be circulated to members and the matter would be considered at next week’s meeting.

  • The Committee noted the programme for the UK City of Culture 2013 following a request from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure for Statutory Committees to hold a meeting during the City of Culture events.

10.24 am Mr Ramsey re-joined the meeting.

5. Departmental briefing on the Local Employment Intermediary Service (LEMIS)

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.25 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Brian Smart, Head of NEET Strategy and Policy Branch, Mr Sam Bailie, LEMIS Policy Manager and Mr Damian McCann, Employment Service Policy Branch on the Local Employment Intermediary Service.

10.33 am Mr Lyttle joined the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

11.05 am Mr Flanagan left the meeting.

11.11 am Mr Ramsey left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting that all the issues raised during the session be addressed at a follow up briefing to be arranged in the next couple of months.

Representatives left the meeting at 11.31 am.

6. Briefing from GEMS NI on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland

Representatives joined the meeting at 11.32 am.

The Committee was briefed by Ms Susan Russam, Chief Executive, Mr Stephen Atkinson, Client Services Manager, Ms Grainne Hanna, Youth Advisor and Mr Joseph Carmichael, LEMIS Project Outreach Practitioner, on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

11.44 am Mr Allister left the meeting.

The representatives agreed to provide further information regarding issues raised during the briefing.

12.12 am Mr Allister re-joined the meeting.

Representatives left the meeting at 12.14 pm.

7. Briefing from Young Enterprise on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland

The representative joined the meeting at 12.14 pm.

The Committee was briefed by Ms Carol Fitzsimons, Chief Executive, on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

The representative agreed to provide further information regarding issues raised during the briefing and to submit a paper to the Committee proposing a methodology for engaging with schools on general employability issues.

The representative left the meeting at 12.40 pm.

8. Briefing from Assembly Research and Information Service on Apprenticeships in Germany

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 9.

The Committee agreed to postpone the briefing from Assembly Research and Information Service due to time constraints and to reschedule it for a future meeting.

9. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 10.

The Committee considered a proposal to make a Statutory Rule, The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order (NI) 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content with the proposed Statutory Rule.

10. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 11.

The Committee considered a proposal to make a Statutory Rule, The Student Fees (Qualifying Courses and Persons) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department seeking clarification regarding the amendment of the interpretation of “parent” in the proposed Statutory Rule.

11. Correspondence

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 12.

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • Response from BT to the Committee’s request for information on Northern Ireland schools competing/ participating in BT Young Scientist competition.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • Europa Press Release: Research and Innovation - Commission widens search for expert advisors for Horizon 2020. 
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the press release and to forward to the Department and the universities for comment.
  • Response from North West Regional College regarding the reclassification of Colleges as NDPB's.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Education regarding Post-19 SEN Provision & 14-19 Education Strategy.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • Business in the Community (BITC) 2012 Review of Corporate Responsibility in Northern Ireland.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • DEL Quarterly Research Review for the quarter July to September 2012.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the Research Review.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Social Development regarding Fuel Poverty Action Groups update on the progress with the Fuel Poverty Thematic Sub Groups.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • NIA Research and Information Service Research paper – ‘UK Careers Service Websites’ Information on the various national careers services websites in each of the UK regions.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to include in Committee Careers Inquiry.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment regarding Renewable Energy – Skills Deficit.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and to forward to the Department for comment.
  • Correspondence from the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action providing a copy of the Centre for Economic Empowerment’s Economic Insights.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding access to the regional colleges’ and universities’ sports facilities by the Irish Football Association.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and to forward to the Minister.
  • Response from Dr Caroline Malone, QUB, regarding her success in receiving a research grant from the European Research Council.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding Financial Forecasting.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • Europa Press Release: A new system of ranking universities called ‘U-Multirank’ has been announced with the first results to be published in 2014.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the press release.
  • Departmental response to Committee request for further information on FE retention and achievement rates.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • Departmental response to Committee request for views on the European Commission’s proposal for a Council Recommendation on establishing a ‘Youth Guarantee’.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • Departmental update on the report into industrial relations in North West Regional College.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the update.
  • Departmental response to Committee request for further information following the Employer Skills Survey briefing by Analytical Services on 16 January 2013.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • Departmental response to Committee request for further information on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response and to forward to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
  • Departmental response regarding the European Commission press release on the launching of the EU Skills Panorama Website.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • Correspondence from an individual suggesting there is a policy gap in postgraduate funding in the United Kingdom.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and to forward to the Department for comment.
  • Correspondence from the Department regarding Learner Access and Engagement Programme (LAEP) - information seminars.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • Departmental response to correspondence highlighting concerns regarding apprenticeships within the building industry.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and to forward to Mr Ashe for his information.
  • Correspondence from an individual requesting an update on the Education Maintenance Allowance in NI for the next academic year 2013/14.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and to forward to the Department for comment.
  • Response from Stranmillis University College to the Committee’s request for further information on the re-classification of colleges as NDPB’s.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and to forward to the Department for comment.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to collate all responses requested from the colleges and the Department on this matter and to schedule consideration of the issue into the forward work programme.
  • Invitation from SERCO for the Committee to visit its operations in Birmingham regarding the Steps to Success programme.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the matter at its next meeting.
  • Departmental response to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment  request for an update on the progress of the ICT Working Group
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and to forward to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
  • Correspondence from the Department giving notice that the Minister intends to make an oral statement in the Assembly on 11 February 2013 on The Review of Policy on Apprenticeships and Youth Training.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

12. Draft Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 13.

The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme up to 3 April 2013.

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

12.46 pm Mr Lyttle left the meeting.

12.47 pm Mr Allister left the meeting.

13. Any Other Business

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 14.

None.

14. Briefing from Confederation of British Industry on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 8.

The representatives joined the meeting at 12.47 pm.

The Committee was briefed by Ms Kirsty McManus, Assistant Regional Director, CBI Northern Ireland, Mr Gordon Parkes, Human Resources Director, Northern Ireland Electricity and Mr Peter Shields, Chief executive, Etain Software on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

1.00 pm Mr Hilditch left the meeting.

1.15 pm Ms McGahan left the meeting.

The representatives agreed to provide further information regarding issues raised during the briefing.

The representatives left the meeting at 1.33 pm.

15. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday 13 February 2013 at 10:00 am in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.33 pm.

Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning

13 February 2013

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