Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 15 June 2011

Venue: Room 29

The meeting opened in public session at 10.02 am.

10.03 am Mr Jim Allister joined the meeting.

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Chair’s Business

10.05 am Mr Barry McElduff joined the meeting.

The Chairperson drew members’ attention to an invitation from the Minister for Employment and Learning to a breakfast meeting on Monday 27 June 2011.

The Chairperson referred members to a request from two newly-qualified teachers to address the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to start the next meeting at the earlier time of 9.45 am to allow this briefing to proceed.

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

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing after the summer recess from Include Youth.

The Committee considered the suggested wording of a motion on Student Fees and Finance.

10.08 am Mr Chris Lyttle joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the wording of a motion to be tabled in the Assembly Business Office.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 8 June 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 Department to obtain further information on the targeting of EMA.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for further information on the Jobs and Benefits project.

5. Briefing from Assembly Research and Information Service on the European Commission Work Programme

The Committee was briefed by a member of Assembly Research and Information Service, on the European Commission Work Programme 2011: Employment and Learning Quarter 2.

10.28 am Ms. Michelle Gildernew left the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

6. Departmental briefing on DEL Engagement with Europe

Departmental officials joined the meeting at 10.33 am

Mr Andrew Hamilton, Deputy Secretary, Mrs June Ingram, Director of Strategy, European and Employment Relations Division, and Mrs Patricia McVeigh, Head of Higher Education Policy Branch, briefed members on the work of the Department in accessing European funding.

10.55 am Mr Tom Buchanan left the meeting.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session, when the Department agreed to provide further information on various issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to DEL to confirm whether Higher Education Institutions receive 80% of available funding and, if this is the case, should that funding be distributed by DEL rather than Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment? The Committee also agreed to ask DEL officials to work with the DETI to increase funding to businesses.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to OFMDFM to schedule a briefing from the Head of the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding various EU engagement issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a further research paper on work currently being undertaken to access European funding by a range of public sector organisations.

Departmental officials left the meeting at 11.10 am

7. Briefings on the Agency Workers Directive

NIC-ICTU officials joined the meeting at 11.11 am

The Committee was briefed by Mr Kevin Doherty and Ms Kasia Garbal, Migrant Workers Officers from the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions (NIC-ICTU), on the unions’ perspective on the transposition of the EC Agency Workers Directive. The briefing session was followed by a question and answer session when the officials agreed to provide further information to the Committee before the forthcoming debate on this issue.

11.34 am Mr Tom Buchanan rejoined the meeting.

NIC-ICTU officials left the meeting at 11.45 am

CBI officials joined the meeting at 11.46 am

The Committee was briefed by Mr Nigel Smyth, Regional Director of the CBI, and Mr Gary Irvine, Director of Diamond Recruitment Group, on the employers’ view of the proposed legislation. The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

CBI officials left the meeting at 12.19 pm

Law Centre NI officials joined the meeting at 12.20 pm

The Committee was briefed by Mr Daire Murphy and Ms Caroline Maguire, Employment Law Advisors from the Law Centre NI. The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

12.40 pm Mrs Sandra Overend left the meeting.

Law Centre NI officials left the meeting at 12.42 pm

Departmental officials joined the meeting at 12.43 pm

The Committee was briefed by Mr Tom Evans and Mr Conor Brady, Departmental officials from Employment Policy and Legislation Branch. This briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

12.54 pm Mr Sammy Douglas left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a research paper on the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the Conduct of Employment Agencies Regulations.

The Committee considered a draft press release on the Agency Workers Directive.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the press release should be issued after the debate.

Departmental officials left the meeting at 12.55 pm

8. Subordinate Legislation

Departmental officials joined the meeting at 12.57 pm

The Committee considered the following SL1 proposal for “The Industrial Training Levy (Construction Industry) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011”, and were briefed by Mr Tim Devine and Ms Linda Meldrum, Sectoral Development Branch, on the policy content of the proposal.

Agreed: The Committee was content for the Department to proceed to make the Rule.

Departmental officials left the meeting at 12.59 pm

9. Correspondence

1.02 pm Ms Michelle Gildernew rejoined the meeting.

The Committee considered the following items of correspondence:

  • A letter from the CBI, congratulating the Chairperson on his appointment and requesting an informal meeting with the Chairperson.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a meeting.

  • A letter from the President-elect of the NUS-USI requesting an informal meeting with the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson to discuss Higher Education funding.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a meeting.

  • A number of letters from employees of Queen’s University, Belfast, protesting about proposed cuts in Higher Education funding.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note and acknowledge the letters.

  • Correspondence from the Committee for Social Development detailing the forthcoming Legislative Consent Motion on the Welfare Reform Bill.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this correspondence in advance of the scheduled debate.

  • A letter from QUILL Research Centre inviting the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson to visit the Centre.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note and arrange a visit.

  • A response from the Department to the Committee’s request for further details on equivalent qualifications.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.

  • An email from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) enclosing its submission to the public consultation on Student Fees and requesting an opportunity to brief the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note the response and schedule a briefing.

The Committee also noted a number of invitations received.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit to Wrightbus, as members were unable to accept an invitation to an Ofqual event to be held at these premises.

1.03 pm Mr Pat Ramsey left the meeting.

10. Draft Forward Work programme

The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme for the period before summer recess.

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

11. Any Other Business

There was no other business.

12. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 at 9.45 am in Room 29, Parliament Building

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 1.05 pm

Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning
22 June 2011

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