Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 13 March 2013

Venue: Room 29, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened in public session at 10.04 am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chairperson's Business

• The Chairperson advised Members that they should make their Inquiry packs available to Committee Staff to update with additional information.

• The Committee considered the recent visit to Geneva, Switzerland and its meetings with the University of Geneva, The International Labour Organisation and the CERN Institute.

The Chairperson advised members that a report of the visit will be produced for the Committee in the coming weeks.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment requesting that the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment considers an InvestNI lead delegation to visit CERN for possible tendering opportunities for contracts for Northern Ireland companies.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Education informing it of the opportunities available for teachers to take up training programmes at CERN on the teaching of Physics.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the 3 Northern Ireland Universities advising them of the Summer School and sandwich year opportunities available at CERN for their students.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the University of Geneva, The International Labour Organisation and the CERN Institute to thank them for their hospitality.

• The Chairperson advised members that he, along with the Deputy Chair and the Clerk, met with the Minister and his senior management team on Monday 11 March to discuss the work of the Department and the Minister requested sight of the Research and Information Service research paper on German Apprenticeships which was produced for the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to provide the Minister with the research paper.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 27 February 2013

Agreed: The minutes of the meeting were agreed.

4. Matters arising

• The Chairperson informed the Committee that a date has now been established for the Committee to receive the Northern Ireland Assembly Legislative Trust training in Committee questioning techniques. The date is 24 April from 10 am to 1 pm and will be in place of a Committee meeting.

• The Chairperson advised the Committee that an informal briefing from some of those students affected by the closure of crèches at the University of Ulster had been arranged to take place during the Committee visit to the Jordanstown Campus on 20 March.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the informal briefing would take place at 1.00 pm on 20 March at the Jordanstown Campus.

• The Chairperson advised the Committee that the informal meeting with Departmental officials to discuss the Steps 2 Success Programme has been confirmed for 16 April at 1.00 pm in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.

5. Subordinate Legislation: SR 2013 - 37 The Student Fees (Qualifying Courses and Persons) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 8.

10.15 am Mr Hilditch joined the meeting.

Agreed: That the Committee for Employment and Learning has considered SR 2013 - 37 The Student Fees (Qualifying Courses and Persons) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013, and has no objection to the rule."

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

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 5.

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.17 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Alan McClure, Regional Services Manager, Ms Roisin McGonagle, Guidance Officer, Ms Claire Lavery, Campaigns Manager and Ms Coleen Agnew a client of Action on Hearing Loss accompanied by Ms Jackie Orr, sign language Interpreter.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

The representatives agreed to provide the Committee with its recommendations to the Inquiry.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department's Disability Employment Service for information on the Access to Work Scheme and the assessment of individuals applying to the scheme and for statistics on those with hearing loss and the profoundly deaf and the numbers in training, further and higher education and in employment.

10.56 am Mr Ross joined the meeting.

Representatives left the meeting at 10.58 am.

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

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 6.

Representative joined the meeting at 10.58 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Brian Campbell, Chief Executive and Mr Bill Connor, Projects Director on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland.

11.25 am Mr Allister left the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

The representatives left the meeting at 11.34 am.

11.34 am Mr Douglas left the meeting.

8. Correspondence

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 10.

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Integrated Education Fund on the review of policy and research evidence into integrated education from 1999 – 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered an invitation to visit Interserve's operations in West Yorkshire and meet with the Strategic Management Team and an Assembly Research and Information Service briefing paper on the Work Programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and research paper.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Department regarding Stranmillis University College's reclassification as an NDPB.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment's correspondence regarding the Renewable Energy Skills Deficit.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and forward it to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment for information.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to a Committee request for further information on Departmental Programmes and the funding available for these programmes.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a request from the National Autistic Society NI for a response to the draft Autism Strategy.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered correspondence from Professor Sir Peter Gregson thanking the Committee for its letter of congratulations.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a request from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment to forward correspondence to the Minister regarding his statement on apprenticeships.

Agreed: The Committee noted that the correspondence has already been forwarded to the Minister.

• The Committee considered a copy of correspondence from INTO regarding the Ministerial response to the draft Education Bill

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

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to the Committee request for additional information following the briefing on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) and a Departmental response to Committee correspondence requesting further information regarding the treatment and status of agency workers at FG Wilson.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding its report on Maximising the Potential of the Creative Industries.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to a Committee request for additional information following the briefing on LEMIS.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered correspondence from Mr Leslie Cree MLA on issues relating to entry criteria for courses at Northern Regional College.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and forward it to the Northern Regional College for information and comment.
11.40 am Mr Lyttle joined the meeting.

• The Committee considered the Departmental Regular Update on Apprenticeships position at 4 March 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to Committee correspondence regarding the gap in post graduate funding.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and forward it to Mr Gerard Casey for his information.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to the Committee for Education request for information on its input into the Post SEN 19 Provision Children's and Young People's Strategic Partnership.

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

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Minister regarding the North West Regional College Action Plan and Quarterly Updates.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from the Department on this issue after 29 May 2013.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister regarding the Department's Investing Activity Report for February 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a revised paper from Skills for Justice on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance in Northern Ireland and an offer to re-brief the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to include the revised submission in the Inquiry report.

• The Committee considered an additional response from the National Association of Head Teachers to the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to include the additional response in the Inquiry report.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to a Committee request for further information on research funding for Small and Medium Enterprises.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Education forwarded to the Minister for Employment and Learning regarding the Education Bill.

Agreed: The Committee noted that the correspondence has been forwarded directly to the Minister.

• The Committee considered an invitation from the Northern Ireland Schools and Colleges Careers Association to its Spring Conference on 30 May 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response regarding the Monitoring of Post Project Evaluations (PPE's).

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response on the PfG Delivery Plans regarding moving young people into employment by providing skills and training.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the correspondence at its next meeting.

• The Committee considered a response from the Committee for the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister regarding the closure of the University of Ulster crèches.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and forward it to the University of Ulster for comment.

• The Committee considered a response from the University of Ulster regarding the closure of its crèches.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered Assembly Research and Information Service briefing paper on Follow up Questions to Quarter 1 Commission Work Programme Briefing.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the research paper.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment on A Financial Capability Strategy for Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and write to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment informing them that EGSA closed in February 2013.

• The Committee considered correspondence from Sustrans regarding the change to staffing structures in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding the Review of the Efficiency Delivery Programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Committee for Finance and Personnel should take evidence from the Department on this issue and report back to the Committee.

• The Committee considered correspondence from Pertemps People Development Group regarding functional skills and the Institute of Employability Professionals.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a response from the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding the redevelopment of the former Erne Hospital Site.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and forward it to the South West College for information.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the EU High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education responding to questions raised during the briefing session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding Invest NI's Regional Start Initiative.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered an additional submission from Young Enterprise for the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note and include in the Inquiry report.

• The Committee considered an Assembly Research and Information Service Briefing Paper on Work Experience Programmes in Great Britain.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the research paper.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to Committee correspondence regarding poverty and disadvantage.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

• The Committee considered a Departmental response to issues raised in a Research and information Service research paper on the European Legislative and Non-Legislative proposals.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the correspondence at its next meeting.

• The Committee considered an invitation from Participation and the Practise of Rights.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.

11.46 am Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

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

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 7.

Representatives joined the meeting at 11.46 am.

The Committee was briefed by Ms Heather Reid, Service Manager, Mr Gareth Eannetta, Senior Practitioner Jobtrack (Adult Employability) and Mr Billy Clarke, Senior Practitioner, Choose to Change (Youth Employability) on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland.

12.00 pm Mr Allister re-joined the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

12.20 pm Mr Allister left the meeting.

The representatives left the meeting at 12.23 pm.

10. Briefing from Include Youth on the Committee Inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) in Northern Ireland

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 9.

Representatives joined the meeting at 12.23 pm.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Paddy Mooney, Manager Give and Take Scheme, Mr Neil Hutcheson, Employability Coordinator, Mr Jason Neill, Participant on the Give and Take Scheme and Ms Blair Anderson, Participant on the Give and Take Scheme 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.

12.42 pm Mr Ross left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request an Assembly Research and Information Service research paper on what the legal restrictions are for employers regarding alternative employment practices which would assist vulnerable young people in gaining employment.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for information on what protected employment places are available for vulnerable young people and ex-offenders and on what the legal restrictions are for employers regarding alternative employment practices which would assist vulnerable young people in gaining employment.

The representatives left the meeting at 12.46 pm.

11. Forward Work Programme

• The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme up to 15 May 2013.

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

12. Any other Business

None.

13. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday 10 April 2013 at 10:00 am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.49 pm.

Mr Robin Swann MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning
10 April 2013

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