Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 23 January 2013

Venue: Great Hall, South West College, Enniskillen Campus

The meeting opened in public session at 10.40 am.   

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chairperson’s Business

  • The Chairperson welcomed Ms Bronwyn McGahan MLA as a new Member to the Committee.
  • The Chairperson advised Members that he had invited the Institute of Physics to send a representative to attend the Committee’s visit to the CERN Institute, Geneva.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content for a representative of the Institute to attend the visit.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 16 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 correspondence from the Northern Ireland Assembly Legislative Strengthening Trust notification of the Northern Ireland Assembly Effective Questioning and Scrutiny workshop for Committees and noted that no dates were currently available for the workshops.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to attend the workshops and consider further when dates are available.
  • The Committee considered Departmental correspondence on the European Social Fund Programme 2014 - 2020
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting a briefing on the European Social Fund Programme and for a written response on a range of issues raised by the Committee.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the three organisations that it met informally prior to the Committee meeting, thanking them for meeting with the Committee and providing them with a copy of the correspondence issued to the Department on the European Social Fund Programme.

5. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 7.

The Committee considered a proposal to make a Statutory Rule, The Parental Leave (EU Directive) (Maternity and Parental Leave) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013.

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

6. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 8.

The Committee considered a proposal to make a Statutory Rule, The Parental Leave (EU Directive) (Flexible Working) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013.

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

7. Correspondence

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 9.

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • Assembly Research and Information Service briefing paper summarising the Beercroft Report and Underhill Review.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further information from the Assembly Research and Information Service.
  • Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure correspondence encouraging Statutory Committees to visit and hold a meeting in the UK City of Culture.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to respond, advising the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure that it is content to visit the UK City of Culture.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to contact the organisers of the City of Culture for information on suitable events the Committee could attend during the visit.
  • Response from the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment on the European Commission Work Programme.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response.
  • Assembly Research and Information Service Paper on Employment Law: A Comparison of Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Republic of Ireland.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the research paper.
  • Departmental response regarding South Eastern College’s use of capital funding in 2012 -2013.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland Investing Activity Report DEL January 2013
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the Activity Report.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for the Environment, ‘The Make IT Green’ scheme, for minimising the number of computers going to landfill.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to the Department for information.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the ‘Strategic Direction of future EU Funding’.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on Financial Forecasting.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • European Commission Press Release - 302 top researchers awarded €680 million in EU funding and indicating that 2 of the researchers are from Queen’s University, Belfast.  
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to Queen’s University Belfast congratulating it on the success and asking for further information on the research that has received the funding and what it is doing to help address the gender imbalance evident in the selected researchers.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the two successful researchers from Queen’s University Belfast congratulating them on their success.
  • DEL - Reports on implementation of Programme for Government (PfG) Commitments for Quarter 3 covering the period 1 October to 31 December 2012.          
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider the reports at the next meeting of the Committee.
  • Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment - Update on the progress of the ICT Working Group.  
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the update to the Department for comment.
  • Northern Ireland Assembly European Officer - Presidency of the Council of the European Union.          
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • Invitation from CAL Committee to Launch of an exhibition of Chinese art to celebrate the Chinese New Year 12.00 pm, Wednesday, 30 January 2013, Long Gallery.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the invitation.

8. Draft Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 10.

The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme up to 20 March 2013.

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

9. Any Other Business

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 11.

None.

10. Briefing from South West College on the establishing of a rural university.

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 5.

The representative joined the meeting at 11.02 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Malachy McAleer, Director and Mr Michael McAllister, Deputy Director, on the establishment of a rural university.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

11.29 am Mr Ramsey left the meeting.

11.51 am Ms McGahan left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for information on whether it has a long term strategy in place and funding streams available to facilitate collaboration between schools and the further education colleges within Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit to the Crest Centre at the South West College, Omagh Campus into its Forward Work Programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Committee for Social Development requesting that they ask their respective Departments for information on whether Libraries Northern Ireland and the Social Security Agency will take-up offices, with the South West Regional College, in the former Erne Hospital site.

The representative left the meeting at 12.16 pm.

11. Briefing from Fermanagh District Council on its Employability Programme

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 6.

The representative joined the meeting at 12.17 pm.

The Committee was briefed by Mrs Thelma Browne, Head of Human Resources, Fermanagh District Council.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department, providing a copy of the Fermanagh District Council briefing on its Employment Programme, and requesting its views on restrictions on rolling placements.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for the Environment requesting information from the Department of the Environment on whether any other Local Councils have established Employability Programmes.

The representative left the meeting at 12.44 pm.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday 6 February 2013 at 10:00 am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson advised Members that the Committee will be visiting South Eastern Regional College, Bangor Campus on 30 January 2013.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.44 pm.

Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning

6 February 2013

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