Leaving Cert students urged to consider accounting technician apprenticeship
Leaving Certificate students with an interest in accountancy who will not be attending a third-level institution full-time are being urged to consider an innovative path to the profession.
The Accounting Technicians Ireland apprenticeship scheme, which is available online and is offered in 10 locations nationwide, will create 150 positions nationally this year.
It is a funded, work-based learning scheme which sees apprentices earn at least €19,700 a year.
It provides a real alternative for Leaving Certificate students who prefer practical training to a full-time college programme.
The scheme sees accounting technician apprentices work in the office four days a week and study on the other day during the two-year apprenticeship.
Many apprentices have worked from home at the discretion of the employer.
Successful graduates may progress on to full accountancy with Chartered Accountants Ireland or one of the other professional accountancy bodies.
The programme, which was established in 2017, saw 50 accounting technicians graduate last year from the scheme’s first-ever graduation class.
The application process involves interviews with Accounting Technicians Ireland and the employer, which selects interviewees from candidates in its locality.
Successful applicants are registered with Solas, Accounting Technicians Ireland and their local college.
County Sligo woman Ava Lang came across the scheme online and is now with local accounting firm Mulhern Leonard Chartered Accountants.
“The apprenticeship jumped out as something I would like because of its flexibility in terms of working, earning and learning, even though I initially knew nothing about accounting,” said Ava.
“But it was very easy to see it is a valuable qualification by the amount of employers advertising for accounting technicians.
“I would recommend the course to anyone thinking of pursuing a career in accounting, there was great support available to me at all times.”
According to Seán Mulhern of Mulhern Leonard Chartered Accountants, the programme strikes a great balance between on-the-job training and learning.
“It is an excellent alternative to pursuing a full-time three-year accounting or business degree course whilst gaining four days a week practical work experience from the outset,” said Seán.
“Ava recently qualified with distinction in all subjects and is now pursuing a Chartered Accountancy qualification.”
The accounting technician apprenticeship is particularly appealing to school leavers who prefer learning by experience to full-time college, according to Gillian Doherty, Chief Operations Officer at Accounting Technicians Ireland.
“Our students, when they complete the apprenticeship, gain a much in-demand accountancy QQI Level 6 award and two years of solid work experience, placing them in a strong position to progress in business or to further study.
“This is a pan-sectoral programme which meets the needs of industry, practice and the public sector, and graduates enjoy exemptions from the full range of professional accountancy bodies including Chartered Accountants Ireland, CPA, ACCA and CIMA.”
For more details see accountingtechniciansireland.ie