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  1. MLAs in the Employment Committee were briefed on youth training initiatives by members of the Employment Support and Training Agency and the NEETs Forum.
  2. The Health Committee sought to reach agreement on its report into the Ulster Unionist Jo-Anne Dobson's Human Transplantation Bill.

Live Reporting

By Robin Sheeran and Robert Ainley

All times stated are UK

  1. The committee adjourns

    Maeve McLaughlin adjourns the committee.

    Join us tomorrow morning at 10:00 GMT for live coverage of the Culture Committee.

    MLAs will vote on whether chairman Nelson McCausland, a former Culture Minister, should appear before the committee to give evidence as part of its inquiry into issues around emergency exiting plans at the Casement Park stadium redevelopment project.    

  2. Domiciliary care

    Domiciliary Care

    Kieran McCarthy of Alliance raises the matter of an announcement made by the health minister on Monday of a £1.6m package for domiciliary care providers.

    He says "it would be nice if members of this committee had been made aware of it in the first place" rather than hearing about it on the BBC at seven o'clock in the morning.

    Mr McCarthy says the money is welcome "but it's no going to go far enough".

    The SDLP's Fearghal McKinney says the announcement grabbed the headlines "but it didn't deal with the issue by a very, very, very long way".

    The members agree to write to the minister for further details of his plans for domiciliary care.

  3. Human Transplantation Bill.

    Human Transplantation Bill

    Members discuss the final draft of their report on the committee stage of the Human Transplantation Bill.

  4. Welcome back

    Maeve McLaughlin

    Toaday's meeting of the Health Committee is being chaired by Sinn Féin's Maeve McLaughlin.

  5. Lunchtime

    Deputy chairman Thomas Buchanan brings the morning's meeting to a close.

    Join us again from 2pm for coverage of the Health Committee, when MLAs are seeking consensus over their report on the Human Transplantation Bill.

  6. Transport for rural-dwellers

    Anne-Marie McClure who works with NEETs Forum says free transport, particularly for rural-dwelling young people, could help increase participation in training and the jobs market.

    Sinn Féin's Fra McCann says she is "pushing at an open door" on issues around rural services, "we've been trying to champion that cause for the past four years".

  7. Engaging with young people

    Bronwyn McGahan

    Sinn Féin's Bronwyn McGahan asks how the NEETs Forum engages with young people, particularly in rural areas.

    Jen Cole says the forum has regional "hubs" that work with other organisations already active in an area, such as the Mencap Jobs Club.

    This co-operation and the expertise of these partner groups allows them to tailor their support to the needs of young people in that area.

  8. NEETs briefing

    NEETs Forum representatives

    Members of the NEET (not in education, employment or training) Youth Forum tell MLAs about their work and funding needs.

    Aaron McCormick, who sits on the NEETs Strategy Forum and his colleague Ciara Gaffney begin the briefing.

  9. 'Self-sustaining'

    Responding to a question from chairman Thomas Buchanan, Gillian Winters says ESTA would be seeking £231,000 for the initial pilot scheme, but the aim would be to make the programme "self-sustaining".

    Mr Harbinson says that while there may be a view that this was "a bit expensive for a pilot", but "the thing is totally flexible, it can be up-scaled, down-scaled" and "there's enormous potential for this".

  10. Time-pressed sole traders

    The DUP's Sydney Anderson asks whether it will be possible to provide training for sole traders, when many of them do not even have time for a lunch break, let alone a holiday.

    Ms Winters says her organisation are very conscious of time constraints for sole traders.

    She says ESTA has had feedback saying, "it can't be eight hours a day for one day every few months. It has to be flexible to meet their needs".

  11. 'Supporting the sector'

    Anna Lo

    Anna Lo of Alliance asks whether ESTA are receiving funding from the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL).

    Gillian Winters says "we're basically doing this in our own time to support the sector.

    "It's most cost-effective to use the current networks we have. At the moment until we can go forward with this, it's an investment of our own time and resources," she adds.

  12. 'Transformational'

    Gerard Diver

    The SDLP's Gerald Diver welcomes the ESTA pilot scheme, which he says could be "quite transformational".

    "If you're able to deal with the more torturous issues that stop people moving forward, that can only be a good thing," he says.

  13. Employer mentoring

    Thomas Buchanan asks how the ESTA approach differs from apprenticeship schemes run by the Employment and Learning Department.

    Mr Harbinson says the main difference is that the ESTA programme gives mentoring to the employer, as well as the apprentice, helping them turn from "a one man band, such as a motor mechanic, into a businessman".

  14. Apprenticeships

    Adam Harbinson

    Adam Harbinson from the Employment Support Training Agency (ESTA) briefs MLAs on apprenticeships.

    He talks about obstacles that deter employers from hiring an apprentice, including uncertainty over pay and employment law.

    One way to remove this impediment, says Mr Harbinson, would be for ESTA to take responsibility for bureaucracy such as  "PAYE, training, employment law and national insurance", charging the employer a monthly fee.

    His colleague Gillian Winters says "business bootcamps" and "hand-holding" could be used to help entrepreneurs.

  15. Buchanan in the chair

    Tom Buchanan

    The DUP's Thomas Buchanan is chairing this morning's meeting.

  16. NI affairs committee to examine potential Brexit impact

    John Campbell

    BBC News NI Economics and Business Editor

    EU flag

    A Westminster inquiry examining how Brexit could affect Northern Ireland is due to begin hearing evidence today.  

    The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee will look at areas like the economy and the border with the Republic of Ireland. The first session will concentrate on economic matters.  

  17. RTÉ: Kenny to ask for dissolution of parliament today

    Enda Kenny

    Irish prime minister Enda Kenny will today ask President Michael D Higgins to dissolve the Dáil today with a view to a general election on Friday 26 February, RTE reports.  

    The 31st Dáil sits for the last time at 9:30 and shortly afterwards Mr Kenny is expected tell TDs that he intends to ask the President for a dissolution.