Apprenticeships NI

Springvale Learning is currently contracted by the Department for the Economy (DfE) to provide the ApprenticeshipsNI 2021 programme. Springvale also delivered government sponsored training under Jobskills, New Deal, Steps to Work, Steps to Success programmes and Training for Success programmes.

As a provider of the ApprenticeshipsNI Programme we are committed to the development of a highly skilled and innovative workforce that will contribute to social inclusion and economic success for Northern Ireland. The quality and effectiveness of training for young people and adults are crucial elements of that process. The sectors identified needed to rebalance the economy namely – Advanced Engineering (including Construction Technical), Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services (Specifically ICT), Creative Industries, Financial Services, Food and Drink Manufacturing, Life and Health Sciences.

We use a peripatetic model of delivery through training provided onsite at the employer’s premises. We work closely with both the apprentice and employer and build in flexibility around the delivery of training, essential skills and work-based assessments to meet defined needs. Schemes of work and lesson plans are agreed with the apprentice and the relevant awarding organisation (City & Guilds, Open College Network NI, Engineering Training Awards (ETA), Oxford Cambridge & RSA (OCR) and Pearson UK).

Induction & Assessment:

All apprentices receive a rigorous induction and assessment to ascertain the apprentice’s needs in terms of delivery and support required to achieve the determined framework and ensure both the employer and apprentice are committed to the process.  Induction includes terms and conditions of the programme including hours of attendance/engagement, disciplinary procedures, curriculum content, CEIAG, apprentice responsibilities, the PTP process, the purpose and the apprentice’s journey within the initial and diagnostic process of essential skills.  The essential skills tutors conduct the initial assessment and diagnostic for apprentices requiring essential skills, the results of which are made available on-line and tutors confidentially discuss the results with the apprentice. The initial assessment and diagnostic results identify areas for development which are detailed in the apprentice’s personal training plan (PTP). 



2020/21 Retention Rates for AppsNI, L1 and L2 are ‘Outstanding’ at 96% and 83%


Overall is 94% for L1 and 95% for L2


Fully Compliant.  A recent inspection report dated 18th February 2020 reported 3.6% in administrative error and 0% in financial error out of 364 administrative compliance tests.

Social Clauses

Currently achieving 121%


ApprenticeshipsNI 2021 is part-funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund (ESF). The NI ESF was established to support the extension of employment opportunities and improve workforce skills and adaptability.

Department of the Economy on the 13th January 2021 awarded Springvale an outcome A in respect to our quality improvement and recovery plan demonstrating sufficient evidence that the organisation is planning effectively for continuity in learning, ongoing quality improvement and recovery.

Employer Engagement:

At Springvale we maintain and nurture relationships with a range of SMEs across the city and regional economy which helps us to get a better understanding of employer’s needs. In the past year we have expanded our reach and are working with a more varied range of employers offering greater opportunities for apprentices.


Springvale’s quality improvement plan sits at the heart of its organisational processes and approaches.  The plan is framed around the quality improvement framework set by the Department for the Economy (DfE) in partnership with the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) and it serves to quality assure the processes and approaches which we employ to ensure that the targets set by the Department for delivery of its AppsNI contract are met.  The key focus areas within the quality improvement plan are leadership & management and quality of provision to improve outcomes for learners. 

Our processes and approaches put in place to ensure targets and other measures are achieved:

  • Structured induction and assessment programme which ensures learners enter a vocational area which matches their career ambitions.
  • Quality training provision, personal and employability support, pastoral care system which ensures every learner reaches their full potential provided in state-of-the art training facilities.
  • Focused employer engagement which places the employer’s needs at the heart of provision.
  • Monthly quality assurance meetings held with the Assistant CEO, Director of Operations, Compliance & Quality Manager and Quality Assurance Co-ordinator. These QA meetings report progress against retention, achievement, and progression targets. SL recently introduced a Springvale Learning Management System (SLMS) which enables real time monitoring and monthly reporting of key performance indicators which reflect internal targets, contractual targets from DfE and quality measures from ETI – occupancy, retention, attendance, achievement, progression, and qualifications attainment.  This system is managed and reported monthly by our data analyst for review at our quality assurance meetings.
  • Senior management meetings are held weekly as well as weekly meetings with teaching staff across all vocational areas, essential skills, employability, personal development, and wellbeing. The focus of the latter meeting for AppsNI will be on the quality of delivery, employment and career pathways and any additional support / pastoral care needs and interventions needed to help support apprentice achievement and progression.