Brian Doran is most commonly known for being the Chief Executive of Southern Regional College. With decades of service to the education sector, Brian received the accolade of ‘Outstanding Contributor to the Greater Newry Area’ at the Greater Newry Business Awards on Thursday 15th June.
Brian first started his journey at the College in a teaching role in 1998 and accelerated his career becoming SRC’s Principal and Chief Executive in 2008. Since starting out in 1998, Brian has remained passionate about progression opportunities and creating opportunities for young people and adult returners alike at the College, with curriculum developed to offer degree options at the College and multiple evening classes to enable all local people to engage with lifelong learning.
Brian’s aim is that the young people of greater Newry will be inspired to stay at home to continue their educational journey, thereby meeting the needs of local employers.
Under his tenure as Principal and Chief Executive, Brian has been instrumental in opening world class facilities in neighbouring campuses, with the Newry campus being earmarked for an innovative expansion plan with work currently in progress. The College sees approximately 10,000 students enrolled each year and is the only college in NI with the Autism accreditation. In addition, the College is the holder of the Matrix accreditation, recognising the quality of the support services dedicated to helping students before, during and after their time at the College. Brian is passionate that the College offering is accessible to all students – including those with learning difficulties and special educational needs.
Throughout his years at the helm, Brian has seen many successes and challenges come his way. The most recent success being the College’s phenomenal achievement in the WorldSkills UK competition series. In recent years the College consistently placed within the top 3 of all UK college’s at WorldSkills UK. Having set his sights on the top spot to be achieved within 5 years, Brian was understandably delighted to receive this accolade within a few months in late 2022.
The College is however only one part to Brian; he is a keen fundraiser taking part in fundraising attempts such as a sponsored cycling event raising a joint sum of £5,550 by cycling from the Southern Regional College in Kilkeel to South West College in Dungannon. These many great accomplishments would not have been possible without the support of his family and in particular his wife, Geraldine, a former member of staff at the College.
The College’s success stands to Brian’s continued enthusiasm and dedication. His efforts have been the driving force behind its achievements. He has frequently commented:
“Through training and improved skill sets, there is the ability to create, promote and sustain local job opportunities.”
However, without an interest and passion such as Brian’s, there is no doubt that none of these achievements would have been possible.
Brian’s success in numbers:
- The College is committed to supporting post-primary education with over 2,500 enrolments from students at key stage 4 (post 16 age group).
- The College sees over 10,000 students enrolled annually with inclusive course offerings available, from entry level qualifications right up to degree options.
- Brian has led his team in the delivery of Community Education and the regional Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy. Instrumental in the development of targeted projects to tackle social deprivation in greater Newry, the College supports an average of 1,000 enrolments per annum from these areas.
- Since 2015, Brian has been instrumental in the success and development of Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLAs) across the six FE College’s in Northern Ireland. HLAs offer the opportunity to gain quality training and a higher qualification while in paid employment. To date SRC has had 1,374 young people enrolled on a HLA programme.
- The College partners with employers to create an average of 1,000 new jobs per year.
Brian Doran (pictured right), SRC Chief Executive accepting his ‘Outstanding Contributor’ award at the Greater Newry Area Awards from Peter Murray (pictured left), Centre Manager of Buttercrane Shopping Centre.