Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 08 May 2013

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 10.11 am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chairperson's Business

• The Chairperson advised Members that he met with representatives of the Confederation of British Industry to discuss the Review of Employment Law.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 1 May 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 the Department for Employment and Learning Savings Delivery Plan Monitoring Report to 31 March 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for information on when the Savings Delivery Plan Monitoring Report was published on the DEL website.

• The Committee considered the Department for Employment and Learning Revised Savings Delivery Plans.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the revised plans and that a briefing on the Monitoring Report will be scheduled before Summer Recess.

• The Committee considered the venue for its meeting to consider its forward work programme on 4 September 2013.

10.14 am Mr Hilditch joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to hold its meeting at Cookstown and to visit the South West Regional College, Cookstown campus.

• The Chairperson advised the Committee that Summit Skills, the Sector Skills Counsel for Building Services Engineering has asked to brief the Committee on the Review of Apprenticeships.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing by Summit Skill for 22 May 2013.

5. Correspondence

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding the possibility of increasing student numbers at the University of Ulster, Magee Campus.

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

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding an Assembly Research and Information Service paper on Public Sector Renewable Generation Uptake.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the Research paper and to forward it to the Department, Further Education Colleges and Universities for comment.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding the reform of Public Service Pensions.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department to ascertain which pension schemes fall within their remit.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Department regarding a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department and Ofqual.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the Memorandum.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Assembly Research and Information Service regarding a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 on the organisation of the Labour Force Survey.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered the Department for Employment and Learning's Investing Activity Report for April 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the report.

• The Committee considered a response from South Eastern Regional College regarding its pilot project to map deprivation.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response and forward it to the Committee for Education for information.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the CBI regarding its Employment and Skills Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered an invitation from the Forum for Adult Learning NI to a conference as part of Adult Learning Week on 23 May 2013 in NICVA, Duncairn Gardens, Belfast.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.

6. Forward Work Programme

• The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme up to 26 June 2013.

7. Departmental Briefing on College Development Plans

Officials joined the meeting at 10.18 am.

The Committee was briefed by Dr Mary McIvor, Director of Further Education Division, Mr Daryl Young, Deputy Director, Further Education Division and Mr Richard Monds, Head of Further Education Finance and Funding on the College Development Plans.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

10.23 am Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

The Departmental officials agreed to provide the Committee with further information as follows:

• The student numbers which are represented by the percentages in Annex 2 of the Department's briefing paper.

• A comparison of the figures for those who obtain employment after exiting the Colleges and the Universities.

• Whether the data packs are published on the Colleges websites.

10.55 am Mr McCann left the meeting.

• Did the Department approve a reduction of ICT student places at the North West Regional College following a curriculum audit?

• Details and an update on the FE Means Business Strategy.

The officials left the meeting at 11.05 am.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for an update on the on-going review with employers on ICT and Computer Skills Shortages.

8. Departmental Briefing on Economic Inactivity

The official joined the meeting at 11.05 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Jim Russell, Deputy Director, Employment Service, and Mr Michael Armstrong, Economic Inactivity Strategy Working Group on Economic Inactivity.

11.17 am Mr Douglas joined the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

11.34 am Mr Flanagan left the meeting.

11.47 am Mr Hilditch left the meeting.

The Departmental officials agreed to provide information on the number of people categorised as NEET who moved into DEL programmes and then subsequently reverted to NEET.

The Departmental officials agreed to meet with the Assembly All-party Groups on Disability and Learning Disability and with other disability organisations as part of its development of the draft strategy prior to formal consultation.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to identify which bodies it has met with and those bodies it plans to meet with to discuss the proposed strategy prior to the formal public consultation.

The official left the meeting at 11.51 am.

9. Briefing from the Skill exchange UK

The representative joined the meeting at 11.53 am.

The Committee was briefed Mr Philip Flaxton, Chief Executive, Skill Exchange UK on the Skill Exchange UK.

11.56 am Ms McGahan left the meeting.

12.01 pm Mr Flanagan re-joined the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

12.11 pm Mr Lyttle joined the meeting.

12.16 pm Mr Hilditch re-joined the meeting.

The representative left the meeting at 12.36 pm.

10. Any other Business

None.

11. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday 15 May 2013 at 10.00 am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.37 am.

Mr Robin Swann MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning
15 May 2013

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