Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 25 January 2012

Venue: Room 29

The meeting opened in public session at 10:12 am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are noted above.

The Committee agreed to write to Mr Sammy Douglas to extend its condolences on the death of his brother.

2. Chair’s Business

The Chairperson updated members with his attendance on behalf of the Committee at various events, including an event sponsored by the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities.

10.16 Ms Michelle Gildernew joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minster on the outcome of its contact with the UK Border Agency.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to arrange for the publication on the Assembly website of Research papers requested.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2012

Agreed: The minutes of the meeting were agreed.

4. Matters arising

The Committee discussed how it should carry out its scrutiny of the future of the Department.

  • Agreed: The Committee considered a list of stakeholders and agreed that a consultation document should be circulated to these stakeholders.
  • The Committee noted that the Principal of the North West Regional College has agreed to brief the Committee in March 2012.
  • The Committee noted a list of matters arising from the previous meeting.

 

5. Briefing from Include Youth on the proposed NEETs strategy, ‘Pathways to Success’

Representatives joined the meeting at 10.43am.

The Committee was briefed by Ms Koulla Yiasouma, Director, Ms Sara Boyce, Policy  Research and Information Coordinator, and Mr Paddy Mooney, Give and Take’ scheme Manager, on the response of Include Youth to the consultation on the proposed NEETs strategy, Pathways to Success. The briefing was followed by a question and answer session, when the representatives agreed to provide the Committee with further information on the Scottish Government’s Guidance on EMA.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider a draft motion on this issue.

Representatives left the meeting at 11.22 am.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to circulate the Scottish Government’s Guidance on EMA.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a research paper on this Guidance.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for an update on the joint DE-DEL Review of EMA.

6. Briefing from the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister on the Child Poverty Outcomes Model

The witness joined the meeting at 11.24 am.

The Committee was briefed by Dr Stephen Donnelly, Principal Statistician, on the development of an outcomes model for child poverty.

11.59 am Mr Pat Ramsey left the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session, when Dr Donnelly agreed to provide further information on other research carried out into child poverty.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister for information on poverty in older people and ethnic minorities.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for Employment and Learning for an update on actions carried out by his Department to address this issue, and on the outcome of bi-lateral meetings with the junior Ministers.

The witnesses left the meeting at 12.32 pm.

7. Consideration of the draft Programme for Government, Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland, Economic Strategy and Action Plans

The Committee considered papers relating to the Draft Programme for Government 2011-2015, the Draft Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland 2011-2021, and the draft Northern Ireland Economic Strategy and related draft Comprehensive Action Plan.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should prepare draft responses to the consultation on these issues for consideration by the Committee at its next meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request an extension to the stipulated closing date for responses to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister and to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

12.40 pm Ms Michelle Gildernew left the meeting.

8. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered the SL1 proposal for The Code of Practice (Time off for Trade Union Duties and Activities) (Appointed Day) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content for the Department to proceed to make the Statutory Rule.

9. Correspondence

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • Response from the Department to a Committee request for further information on up-skilling for potential employment opportunities.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.
  • Correspondence from the Department of Justice on the launch of its consultation on proposals for mutual recognition of certain judicial decisions across European member states.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this consultation.
  • Report by Mary Walshok on The Early Roots of San Diego’s Innovation Economy.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this report.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel enclosing information on the monitoring of departmental Savings Delivery Plans.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.
  • Correspondence from the Vice-Chair of the Stranmillis University College Governing Body on issues relating to the proposed merger of the College with Queen’s University, Belfast.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.
  • Correspondence from the Ballykeel 2 Residents Association on funding issues.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this correspondence to the Department for comment.

10. Draft Forward Work Programme

The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme until the end of March 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed this Forward Work Programme with the proviso that it may be amended when stakeholder briefings are scheduled.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should circulate details of a proposed witness to members for comment.

11. Any Other Business

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department and to Colleges NI concerning the discontinuance of a training scheme for software engineers.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday, 8 February 2012, at 10.00 am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.49 pm

 Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning

8 February 2012

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