Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 07 December 2011

Venue: First Steps Womens Centre, Dungannon

The meeting opened in public session at 10.18 am.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chair’s Business

The Committee discussed the Chairperson’s suggestion that all agenda items for every meeting should be transcribed by Hansard.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer further consideration of this suggestion until the Chairperson is present.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2011

Agreed: The minutes were agreed.

4. Matters arising

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

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to request a briefing on teacher training issues at an earlier date than he had suggested.

5. Correspondence

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 6.

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • Response from the Department to the Committee’s request for further information on its engagement on EU legislation.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

  • Copy of the submission from the Department to the UK Government Response to the European Commission Green Paper on Modernising the Professional Qualifications Directive.

      Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this submission.

  • Letter from the Minister to the Committee’s request for a briefing on teacher training issues.

The Committee dealt with this correspondence at agenda item 4, Matters Arising.

  • Response from the Department to the Committee’s request for further information on the outcome of the October Monitoring Round submission.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

  • A response from the Department to the Committee’s request for further information on bids for the Steps to Work and Apprenticeships programmes.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

  • A response from the Department to the Committee’s request for further information on the Learner Access Engagement pilot scheme and on cross-Departmental working to address numeracy and literacy needs.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

  • A response from the Department detailing the number of front-line advisers in the Employment Service.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

  • A response from the Department enclosing copies of correspondence between the Minister and the GB Minister for Employment Relations, and also providing details of responses to the Consultation on the Blacklisting of Trade Union Members.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request Departmental officials to provide an oral briefing on the consultation responses.

  • Response from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure to the Committee’s request to be consulted on its inquiry into maximising the potential of creative industries.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

  • Letter of thanks from the Committee for Social Development for the Chairperson’s participation in its Fuel Poverty event.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.

  • Correspondence from the Committee for Social Development forwarding a Hansard transcript on Welfare Reform.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.

  • Correspondence from the Committee for the First Minister and deputy First Minister on the Children and Young People’s Strategy Outcomes Model.

Agreed:  The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ascertain if the Department is aware of the development of this Model.

Agreed:  The Committee further agreed to request a briefing on the Model from the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.

  • Correspondence from the Department on the Review of the Regulatory System for Qualifications in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.

  • News Release from the Department announcing an increase in places in Higher Education.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a briefing from the Minister on this issue.

6. Draft Forward Work Programme

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 7.

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

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

7. Any Other Business

The Committee agreed to move to agenda item 8.

There were no other items of business.

8. Briefing from the Forum for Adult Learning in Northern Ireland on the role of Adult Learning.

 Representatives of the Forum joined the meeting at 10.38 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Colin Neilands, Director of the Workers Educational Association, Mr Alan Carr, Development Manager for the Open University, Ms Ann Osborne, Chief Executive designate of the Educational Guidance Service for Adults, and Mr Michael McGoldrick, Chief Executive of the First Steps Womens Centre, on the role played by the Forum in the delivery of adult learning.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session when the representatives agreed to provide the Committee with further information on NEETs, the Learner Access Engagement pilot and ‘Learning Cities’.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to issue a press release highlighting the issue of adult learning.

11.20 am Ms Michelle Gildernew left the meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed to sponsor a Long Gallery event for Adult Learning Week in May 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request that funding for Adult learning week be reinstated.

9. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday, 14 December 2011, at 10.00 am in Room 29, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 11.53am

Mr Thomas Buchanan
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning

14 December 2011

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