Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 30 November 2011

Venue: Room 29

The meeting opened in public session at 10.08 am.

  1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.  

Ms Michelle Gildernew, Mr Barry McElduff and Mr Pat Ramsey indicated that they were not prepared to cross a picket line to attend the meeting.

 

 

  1. Chair’s Business

The Chairperson updated members with details of his attendance at various events and meetings on behalf of the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to investigate if it would be possible to establish an Assembly for people with learning disabilities.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit to Bombardier.

  Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Justice regarding IT facilities and uptake in education courses at Maghaberry Prison.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content for the Chairperson not to speak in the Plenary debate regarding two Statutory Rules previously considered by the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ascertain how it currently identifies and tracks those 18 – 24 year olds who are not in employment, education and training.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding information emanating from Europe.

 

10.37 am Mr Chris Lyttle joined the meeting.

 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to OECD requesting a briefing on the Programme for International Student Assessment.

Agreed: The Chairperson agreed to issue two OECD reports to members.

 

 

  1. 3.      Minutes of the meetings held on 23 and 28 November 2011

Agreed: The minutes of the meetings were agreed.

 

 

  1. Matters arising

       The Committee considered a list of matters arising from the previous meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk should arrange a visit to Wright bus.

 

 

  1. Departmental Briefing on the January Monitoring Round

Departmental officials joined the meeting at 10.49am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr John Smith, Director of Finance, on the Department’s submission to the January Monitoring Round.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting further information regarding the Step Ahead 4-2 bid to the Social Protection Fund.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister requesting a further oral briefing at its meeting on 14 December 2011.

The official left the meeting at 11.19 am.

 

11.19 am Mr Basil McCrea left the meeting.

11.19 am Mr Thomas Buchannan took the Chair.

 

         

 

  1. 6.        Departmental briefing on the Careers Strategy Implementation 

 Departmental officials joined the meeting at 11.20 am.

The Committee was updated by Ms Nuala Kerr, Director of Skills and Industry, and Ms Judith Shaw, Head of Careers Service Policy and Strategy, on the implementation of the Careers Strategy.

          The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

 

11.35 am Mr Basil McCrea re-joined the meeting.

 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for Education to request that it ascertains why Department of Education officials were unable to attend the Committee briefing on the Careers Strategy scheduled for today.

Agreed: The Committee also agreed to write to the Committee for Education requesting that a joint meeting of both Committees be scheduled to receive a briefing on the Careers Strategy.

Officials left the meeting at 12.06 am.

 

12.06 pm Mr Basil McCrea resumed the Chair.

 

  1. Correspondence

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • Response from the Department to a Committee request for a detailed breakdown of capital funding.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

 

  • Response from the Department on concerns relating to veterinary studies and student complaints raised by the NUS-USI.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development.

 

  • Response from the Department to the inquiry into maximising the potential of the creative industries, currently being carried out by the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this response to the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure.

 

  • Response from the Department to the Committee’s request for an update on suspected fraud notifications in the DEL Resource Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2011.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

 

  • Response from the Department outlining its engagement with the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

 

  • Response from the Department to a request from the Committee for an update on Welfare Reform.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

 

  • Correspondence from the Department requesting that a briefing on the outcome of the consultation on its NEETs Strategy, Pathways to Success, should be postponed until 14 December 2011. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to re-schedule the briefing.

 

  • Investment Activity Report on DEL for November 2011. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this Report.

 

  • Correspondence from the University of Ulster inviting the Committee to hold a meeting at its Magee campus.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a meeting at the campus.

 

  • Copy of correspondence sent by the Minister to Employers for Childcare, regarding proposals to raise awareness of the financial incentives available for childcare.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

 

  • Correspondence from Queen’s University, Belfast, thanking the Committee for visiting the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to thank Queen’s University Belfast for hosting the visit.

 

  • Correspondence from the Open University announcing its student fees for the academic year 2012-2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.

 

  • Media release from Queen’s University, Belfast, on Royal recognition for the Queen’s – Health Service partnership to combat cancer.

    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the university to offer its congratulations.

 

The Committee also noted an invitation received.

 

 

  1. Draft Forward Work Programme

The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme for the remainder of the calendar year.

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

 

 

  1. Any Other Business

Agreed: The Committee agreed that Christmas e-cards should be sent out to stakeholders.

 

12.19 pm The meeting moved into Closed Session.

 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister requesting a briefing on DEL related teacher training issues.

 

10.  Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should take place at 10.00 am on 7 December 2011 in First Steps Women’s Centre, Dungannon.

 

 

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.31 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Thomas Buchanan
Deputy Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning

 

7 December 2011

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