Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 15 February 2012

The meeting opened in public session at 10.06 am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are noted above.

2. Chair’s Business

The Chairperson did not bring forward any items of business.

3.  Minutes of the meeting held on 8 February 2012

Agreed: The minutes of the meeting were agreed.

4. Matters arising

  • The Committee considered a draft response to the Draft European Priorities 2012 -2013 from the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to send this response to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, requesting that it should be forwarded to that Department.
  • The Committee noted a list of matters arising from the previous meeting.

 

5. Consideration of Responses to the Committee consultation on the dissolution of the Department for Employment and Learning

The Committee considered various responses to the consultation on the dissolution of the Department for Employment and Learning.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a research paper on equivalent departments in other jurisdictions, including the Republic of Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek responses from a number of other organisations.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the First Minister and deputy First Minister for clarification on the dissolution of the Department for Employment and Learning.  

6. Briefing from the Skills Adviser for Northern Ireland on the transfer of functions of the Department for Employment and Learning

The Adviser joined the meeting at 10.21 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Bill McGinnis, the Skills Adviser for Northern Ireland, on options for the transfer of the functions of the Department for Employment and Learning to other departments.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

The Adviser left the meeting at 11.08 am.

7. Briefing from Colleges NI on the transfer of functions of the Department for Employment and Learning

Representatives joined the meeting at 11.09 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Gerard Campbell, Chief Executive Colleges NI, Mr Trevor Neilands, Deputy Chairperson Colleges NI and Chief Executive/Principal Northern Regional College, and Mr Joe Martin, Colleges NI Board Member and Chairperson of South West College, on what Department they saw the Further and Higher Education sectors being aligned with following the dissolution of the Department.

11.10 am Mr Jim Allister joined the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

12.08 pm Mr Jim Allister left the meeting.

The representatives left the meeting at 12.22 pm.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to make arrangements for an informal event to take the views of other stakeholders.  

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should prepare a summary of all responses received for the next meeting.

8. Correspondence

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • Response from the Department to the Committee regarding the Child Poverty Strategy Outcomes Model.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.
  • Correspondence from the Department relating to the Disposal of Documents Order 1928 - Retention & Disposal Schedule.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.
  • Response from the Department to the Committee regarding the request for financial assistance from Ballykeel II Community House Ltd.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence and forward it to the Ballykeel II Community House Ltd organisation for information.
  • Correspondence from the Department to the Committee regarding statistical publications in the Higher Education Sector.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.
  • Response from the Department to the Committee regarding an update on the review of the Education Maintenance Allowance.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment informing this Committee of its planned visit to the Newtownards Campus of the South Eastern Regional College.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.
  • Correspondence from Colleges NI providing further information on software engineers entering the Information Technology employment market.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.
  • Correspondence from the Peace and Reconciliation Group regarding a new prison education programme, “Inside Out: Northern Ireland”.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.


9. Draft Forward Work Programme

The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme up to 16 May 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

10.  Any Other Business

  • Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for further information on proposed Youth Contract funding.
  • Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for Health and Social Services and Public Safety to request that the provision of speech and language therapy should be excluded from vacancy control measures.
  • Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should arrange a prison visit unless members contacted her to indicate that they objected to such a visit.

11.  Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday, 29 February 2012, at 10.00 am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.36 pm

Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning

29 February 2012

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