Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 12 October 2011

Venue: Room 29

The meeting opened in closed session at 10.03 am.

The Committee considered correspondence received from lecturers at the North West Regional College.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to arrange an informal meeting with the correspondents.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Chair’s Business

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

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2011

Agreed: The minutes were agreed.

4. Matters arising

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

5. Briefing from FIT NI on funding issues

A representative joined the meeting at 10.11 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mr Billy McClean, Programme Manager, on current funding issues.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

10.14 am Ms Michelle Gildernew joined the meeting.
10.17 am Mr Chris Lyttle joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department requesting further information on issues raised.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a briefing from the Department on its provision for ‘hard to reach’ learners.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward a copy of the Hansard transcript to the Department for comment.

The representative left the meeting at 10.50 am.

6. Briefing from Leonard Cheshire Disability Northern Ireland

A representative joined the meeting at 10.51 am.

The Committee was briefed by Mrs Tonya McCormac, Director of Operations, on the work of Leonard Cheshire Disability Northern Ireland.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit to Leonard Cheshire Disability Omagh.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a Research paper on disabled people.

11.21 am Mr Jim Allister joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to contact the Committee for Health and Social Services and Public Safety on how both Committees can work jointly to support disabled people in independent living.

The representative left the meeting at 11.25 am.

7. Departmental briefing on the Re-contracting of Training for Success

Departmental officials joined the meeting at 11.26 am.

The Committee was briefed by Ms Nuala Kerr, Director of Skills and Industry, and Mr Des Lyness, Head of Re-contracting Branch, on the process of awarding contracts for the Training for Success programme.

11.31 am Mr Barry McElduff joined the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session when Departmental officials agreed to respond to members’ request for further information.

11.43 am Mr Chris Lyttle left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Lord Chief Justice to bring the situation to his attention.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to express its concerns.

11.49 am Ms Michelle Gildernew left the meeting.
11.56 am Mr Chris Lyttle rejoined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek legal advice on the implications of sub-judice.

Departmental officials left the meeting at 12.02 pm.

8. Subordinate Legislation

The Committee considered the SL1 proposal for The Labour Relations Agency (Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures) (Jurisdictions) 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 Minister clarifying the respective responsibilities for Education Maintenance Allowance between DEL and DE.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this reponse.
  • Response from the Department on Post-Project Evaluations.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.
  • Response from the Department on the increased client numbers anticipated as a result of the introduction of Universal Credit.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.
  • Response from the Department detailing the number of people with a declared disability who have been employed in the Department over the last three years.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this.
  • Response from the Department to a briefing paper from Include Youth on young people on its Give and Take scheme who are not entitled to EMA.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence and forward the response to Include Youth.
  • Response from the Department on increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence.
  • Response from the Department to the request from the Committee for the Environment for information on Reducing Departmental Energy Usage.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for the Environment.
  • Correspondence from the Department correcting information submitted last week on the October Monitoring Round.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • Response from Queen’s University, Belfast, to a Committee request for further information on students who are disadvantaged through geographical location or poor broadband access.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • Correspondence from Employers for Childcare requesting a meeting with the Committee.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing.
  • Correspondence from Darson Services Ltd on Programme-Led Apprenticeships.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for an update on the Programme Led Apprenticeships scheme.
  • Paper from the Save the Children Fund, Making Work Pay – The Childcare Trap.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the paper.
  • Correspondence from Stranmillis University College on the proposed merger with Queen’s University, Belfast.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.
  • Correspondence from the All-Party Working Group requesting Committee comment on the problems faced by the Construction industry.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to respond.
  • Correspondence from the Committee for Education suggesting appropriate stakeholders to be invited to the forthcoming event with Colleges NI.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to issue invitations to these stakeholders.
  • Correspondence from Queen’s University, Belfast in response to a Committee request for further information on student application numbers.
    Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the correspondence.

The Committee also noted a number of invitations received.

10 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.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to move the venue for its meeting next week to Queen’s University, Belfast.

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

11. Any Other Business

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department on capital procurement issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to include the EURES report entitled, A Study of Cross-Border Undergraduate Education, in its meeting pack for next week.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday, 19 October 2011, at 9.30 am in the Old Staff Common Room, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University, Belfast.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.19 pm.

Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning
19 October 2011

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