We would like to welcome Marcus Benkirane to Springvale Learning as our New Director of Operations.
Markus has over 18 years of teaching in the secondary sector. During his time in teaching he held the positions of ICT Cross Curricular Coordinator, Leading Learner for Vocational Subjects and was also Head of the Technology and Design department for the last 5 years of his teaching career.
Marcus comes to us from the Belfast Met where he held the position of Curriculum Area Manager for A Levels at the Belfast Met within the school of Academic and Continued Education.
“Throughout my time in education, I have worked with a wide range of young people of varying capabilities. I have always been interested in how children learn and how as educators we can continually improve that learning process. I have worked on many different learning-based projects over the years which have incorporated Project-Based learning, TEL and Active Learning teaching and learning methodologies. Throughout my previous experiences in both the Secondary and Further Education sectors I have always found it very satisfying to help young people find their way through education”.
Springvale successfully delivers high quality employment and learning solutions, supporting people to transform their lives through enhanced learning and sustained employment. We are continuing to grow the services we offer, the range of courses and support for local students and businesses. Helping to get more young people into training and into full time employment as well as helping local businesses to upskill and retrain their current staff.
#employment #apprenticeshipsNI #vocationalskills #VocationalCourses #retraining #upskilling #upskill #staffretention #staffmotivation #schoolleavers #umemployment #youthstart


As Christmas fast approaches we like to get all of our students involved in the festive activities. Some of our Hair and Beauty students in their Essential Skills Literacy class were making Christmas decorations which we will be selling at a Christmas Fayre in the local community in early December.

This week as part of our Life Skills Programme our students are working on “Our Personal Identity” module. We had Ren from The Rainbow Project in doing a workshop on Understanding LGBT and Gender identity which went brilliantly. It helped raise an awareness of this community with all of the students and promoted respect and equality within the college.

Our Life Skills programme is not just about giving our students day to day skills but also helping them understand themselves and help them grow in confidence and resilient adults.

It is 36 days until Christmas and for a lot of local families it is a time of stress as they struggle to pay bills with nothing left to buy presents for their kids.
So we have linked up with the Clonard Toy Appeal to help make Christmas special for some local families. Springvale Learning will bea drop off location for toys for their toy appeal. All of our staff and pupils will be donating toys and anyone who wants to donate toys to the appeal can drop them into Springvale Learning on the Springfield Road.
All gifts are welcome from young babies and toddlers to older children. So when you`re out getting gifts over the next few weeks why not buy a few extra and drop them off with us.
Its that time of year when we can give back to those who are in most need and put big smiles on the faces of some kids who deserve to have an amazing Christmas so please donate.
Check out their facebook for what type of presents they need most. (20+) The Clonard Appeal. | Facebook
#clonard #westbelfast #clonardtoyappeal #christmas #givingback #springvalelearning #toydropoff #givingback #charity #toyappeal #christmaspresents #clonardpartnership
Looking for something festive to do this festive season, why not visit the Christmas Market at Edenderry Nursery School. Organised by Clonard and Mid Shankill Initiative, Springvale Learning will be there to support and bring some Christmas Spirit into the Local Community.
There will be lots for the whole family from a visit from Santa and lots of homemade gifts ideal for Christmas Gifts and lots of yummy festive food.
All proceeds from the event go to local charities in the local community represented by various organisations doing amazing work in our local community.
Some of our Students from Parks School have been working on some samples for the Christmas Market but these beauties will go home with them as gifts for their loved ones.
There is nothing more special at Christmas than Handmade Gifts made with Love.
We hope to see you there on Thursday 2nd December from 5-6pm.
#christmas #christmasmarket #westbelfast #Clonard #clonardassociation #midshankilliniative #localcommunity #givingback #catering #festivefood #visitsanta #festivegifts #homemadegifts #joinery #woodwork #nihe #belfastcitycouncil #belfast #christmasinbelfast #togetherbuildingaunitedcommunity #DepartmentOfJustice #lanarkway #parkschoolbelfast
Clonard partnership Edenderry Nursery School Park School belfast friends
We welcomed pupils back in this week from Rostulla, Park, Harberton, Fleming Fulton and St Gerards school. These schools are all special schools with kids with a variety of physical and learning needs.
Our Skills for Life and Work programmes helps them to achieve their essential and life skills as well as employability skills and a placement.
The pupils get to experience all the different vocational areas and get to have a bit of fun getting to know each other and the tutors.
They are all welcomed into a nourishing fun environment and fully supported by disability support and our trained team.
Skills for Life and Work is for you if you are a young person who has left school but need experience of work along with qualifications at Level 1 or Entry Level. You may need these to help you find a job or to move on to higher level training. You may be able to follow one or more Level 2 qualifications while on Skills for Life and Work, depending on your needs and circumstances.
If you are aged 16-17 years you can join Skills for Life and Work. If you have a disability you can join up to 22 years of age. If you have an in-care background, you can join up to 24 years of age.

Our NEW students are settling into their courses learning some life skills and getting stuck into some of the fun elements of their chosen vocations.
Some of our NEW catering students got to make some yummy homemade pizza and they got to eat it as well for their lunch. Our catering courses can get you ready for any type of job in the catering industry whether you are starting out in a fast food restaurant, cafe or 5 star restaurant you can start your career at Springvale Learning.
If you are interested in our catering course or you already work in catering and would like more info about an apprenticeships then go to our website to enquire or enrol.

NEW Vocational Courses

This September we have 5 NEW Vocational Qualification areas:


Health & Social Care

Business Admin

Retail & Customer Service 

Warehousing & Storage

If you are 16 – 17 years old you can ENROL online today for any of the NEW Vocational Qualifications or our existing ones including:


Beauty Therapy

Hairdressing & Barbering


Joinery & Construction

Computer Technology

Digital Media

You receive a weekly payment while doing your course as well as additional bonuses for completing it as well as the opportunity for full time employment after finishing your placement.

If you would like to enrol in any of the courses mentioned you can apply online and someone will be in touch with more info and to get the process started.

Contact us – Springvale (springvalelearning.com)

Great to receive a visit from one of our recent successful students, John Carlisle, today. As well as achieving 4 qualifications through Springvale Employment and Learning, John was one of a number of students who took part in a fundraising spin-a-thon to purchase a potentially life saving defibrillator for our centre. He returned today to present this to our Director of Operations Ryan Connor. Congrats to all who were involved and thank you for your support!
#studentsafety #staffsafety #fundraisingchallenge 

Staff and students at the Springvale Freshers Fair, August 2016

Fresher’s Fun at Springvale as they host the annual event for all new learners!

Springvale hosted their annual Fresher’s Fair on Friday 9th September 2016. The students and parents enjoyed advice and support from Springvale partners and providers, promoting the various services, deals and discounts available to all attendees.

The Fresher’s fair gave all new learners the opportunity to unwind after their first week at the beginning of their transition from school leaver to vocational learner at a training organisation. It was also the chance to get know each other as they enjoyed posing for souvenir key rings and filling bags full of treats at the candy cart. Health care support, money advice and transportation offers were also available at the event.

Community organisations and support providers that attended on the day included, Belfast Community Sports Development Network, Carecall, Translink NI, Daisy, McKeevers Chemist, Clonard Credit Union, Libraries NI, Careers Service, Cedar Foundation and Education Authority.

Mary McGurk, Head of Development explains, ‘Our Freshers Fair gives our learners the chances to meet some of the excellent providers and organisations that Springvale work with, which support anyone who needs their services or assistance. It is also an opportunity to get to know the surroundings and staff at Springvale as they begin a new phase in their learner journey.’

If you are aged between 16 and 17, Training for Success is open for enrolment at Springvale Employment and Learning Solutions during September 2016, to improve the chances of getting an apprenticeship or a job. At Springvale the student can gain recognised qualifications in professional and technical skills and two to three days practical work experience each week, all taught in state of the art facilities. Benefits include £40 per week, money towards travel costs, attendance bonuses and achievement cash bonuses as well as 37 paid holidays each year.

To register call 028 90242362 or drop into Springvale at 200 Springfield Road Belfast BT12 7DB.


Guests at Springvale Learning's 2016 GraduationPast and present come together to celebrate success at Springvale’s Annual Graduation Celebration

Thursday 30th June 2016 marked a special day that all learners strive toward, their Celebration of Success Graduation event. Springvale Employment and Learning held their annual graduation, hosted by Aidan Browne, showcasing the success of Springvale’s valued learners.

Learners, parents and distinguished guests, were joined by former Springvale learner and current Executive Chef of The Merchant Hotel John Paul Leake. John gave an engaging and motivating speech praising the graduates on their achievements and emphasising the importance of studying, reiterating that although it may be tough at times, focusing on your own learner journey is worth the success that it brings. He gave an insight into his own career pathway, detailing his time training at Springvale and the help he received to begin working in industry before moving to his current role in The Merchant Hotel. He also spoke about his aspirations for the future.

This year, Springvale Employment and Learning Solutions distributed an amazing 1,710 qualifications ranging from Diplomas, NVQs at Level 2 & 3, Vocational Technical Certificates, and Essential skills, to include Numeracy, Communication, Employability and PSD. Mary McGurk, Head of Development explains, “We are so pleased to have worked with over 700 learners in the last year and pride ourselves in making sure that the learner is at the centre of everything we do here at Springvale. Our tutors are extremely dedicated to maximising success and will continue to develop the skills of everyone who trains at Springvale. I would also like to extend a special thank you to all of our awards sponsors and partners who have contributed to the success of the Graduation today. We fully appreciate all of the organisations that support Springvale and look forward to continue to meet the demand for skills and training that is expected in Northern Ireland in accordance with the current Success Through Skills Strategy.”

Vocational training qualifications presented on the day included Engineering, Computer Technology, Catering, Joinery, Plumbing, Retail, Welding, Customer Service, Hair and Beauty, Team Leading and Management. Students receiving awards had participated in Training For Success, ApprenticeshipsNI, Steps to Work and Schools Links Programmes.

Aidan Brown introduced Springvale’s newly appointed Chief Executive, Dr Alan Blair, to the guests at the event. Alan emphasized that now more than ever, it is essential to develop technical and professional skills to get ahead in the current job market, and emphasized Springvale’s plan to prepare for the increased demand for skills and the new jobs that they will create. He also encouraged the young people to always believe in themselves and strive to be the best that they can be.

Springvale works with a variety of young people to enhance their opportunities and gain the necessary qualifications and skills to advance career prospects.

Training For Success is a programme for school leavers who wish to complete vocational training in a variety of areas. You still have time to register for the September 2016 intake. For more information on how to register, email info@springvalelearning.com or call 028 9024 2362. Alternatively, you can follow Springvale on Facebook and Twitter for updates on current activities and events.