We have a solid reputation for providing services of the highest quality and continue to innovate to meet the needs of our learners, jobseekers, employers and partners.
As an organisation, we are fully committed to further developing our strategic partnerships and securing employer relationships across business and industry sectors to deliver increased employment opportunities and meet the demand for skills and training in accordance with the current Success Through Skills Strategy.
Located on the Springfield Road in Belfast, we support a diverse range of learners and jobseekers to break down barriers and reach their goals, whether that is to gain a vocational qualification or find a job. We bring together the experience and expertise of a team that have been delivering employment related services and skills provision for over 20 years.
We provide advice and support in the following areas:
- How to gain sustainable employment.
- Career advancement through vocational skills courses and accredited training and qualifications.
- Assisting organisations in the recruitment of staff and further developing the skill set of existing employees.
Springvale Learning occupies a state of the art, 48,000 ft2 purpose built and equipped training facility on the Springfield Road in West Belfast. We have an excellent range of practical workshops, classrooms, and computer suites, which provides our students with access to specialist tools, equipment, computer hardware and software and spacious training areas to support practical training activities. Students in the hospitality, hair, beauty and building services occupational areas benefit from the specialist catering training kitchen, hairdressing and beauty salons and industry standard workshop areas in joinery and plumbing. We continue to invest and upgrade our facilities and have recently invested over £10k to modernise our plumbing workshop area to ensure we meet the highest quality industry standards and in line with the specifications of awarding organisations and standard setting bodies.
In addition, we have 20 theory teaching rooms available across all occupational areas. These rooms are equipped with computers (250 personal computers across the site), interactive whiteboards and digital screens. We also have two designated examination suites used exclusively for knowledge-based examinations both paper based and on-line, including essential skills and a safe for examination papers.
We employ an onsite Joinery Technician who maintains all power tools and equipment and an IT Systems Co-ordinator to support all ICT resources across the organisation.
Our centre has many physical advantages particularly in relation to accommodating people with physical disabilities. We have excellent wheelchair access with extra wide corridors and doors. There are lifts from the ground floor to the first floor and an electronic wheelchair lift from the foyer to the basement. There are access ramps to the front and rear of the building with designated car parking accommodation for those with disabilities. We have created wide aisles between workstations in our computer rooms and planned the height of fitted work surfaces to allow for comfortable access for wheelchairs. We have independent washrooms for people with disabilities on both floors. We also have evacuation chairs to assist our Special Education Needs (SEN) apprentices to be fully compliant with our evacuation procedures. There is a designated area for SEN apprentices that includes a supervised room where they can access the support they need to ensure they optimise their learning experience.
Our premises are safe and secure, with safety features on the front and back door, staff room and main offices. An electronic pass is required to gain access to the building or via a buzzer managed at reception.
Virtual Learning Platform and Resources
We have recently employed an IT Systems Coordinator who has conducted an IT eLearning platform review for the organisation. This work has been crucially important in the development of an effective virtual learning procedure for our staff and is an important resource with respect to providing continued support and further development of our eLearning platforms.
We use Microsoft Teams as our platform of choice for online learning delivery and all staff have received training in this. Three members of staff have also undertaken additional training at Stranmillis University College – Developing a Blended and Technology Enhanced Learning Course – and provide peer support for staff as virtual learning is further developed and implemented.
Video demonstrations and video call lessons can be delivered via MS Teams and home learning packs / eLearning booklets / use of emails will ensure a range of asynchronous methods are used remotely. Resources e.g., PowerPoints have been adapted to include interactive quizzes and activities in replacement of using paper resources. PowerPoints are in place for each unit topic to aid remote delivery. These also include AON, COMM, TEL activities. Adapted assessment methods have been implemented e.g., emailing questions for completion and advice has been taken from the IQA and EQA on adapted assessments to ensure sustained progress.
All apprentices’ capabilities regarding the use of MS Teams will be assessed at the outset and where required, guidance and support will be provided to enable remote participation. All apprentices have and will be assigned an e-mail address which will assist in MS Teams delivery and ongoing remote communication.
In addition, we have recently introduced an on-line e-portfolio and e-assessment system called ILearner through ICQ. ILearner allows the apprentices to communicate with their assessor, submit evidence and check progress from any web enabled device. Apprentices can use any electronic document type including audio, images and videos to create their e.portfolio of evidence. Everything is stored online in one place and allows for ease of instant access to their portfolio and reduces the need maintaining a paper portfolio of evidence.
Springvale Learning was also successful in securing funding from DFE to support 70 students with access to laptops and access to internet at home. We also have a resource of cameras and sound bars for learners that need equipment to facilitate remote access. This will greatly benefit a significant number of learners and give greater parity to all apprentices.
A list of policies and procedures can be requested from the organisation, just contact us with any requests.