Pictured: Michael McAteer, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton

The Accounting Technicians Ireland apprenticeship programme, which will create 150 jobs this year, is proceeding with its September intake.

The apprenticeship is a funded, work-based learning programme which sees apprentices earn at least €19,700 a year. It has been backed by one of the country’s top accounting professionals, who hailed the work ethic of apprentices during lockdown. Managing Partner of Grant Thornton, Michael McAteer, whose own accountancy career began with Accounting Technicians Ireland evening classes, said of the firm’s 14 Accounting Technicians Ireland apprentices:

I have been very impressed with the work ethic of the apprentices during this extraordinary period. At peak times, we have up to 1,400 people working, with the institute’s apprentices playing an important role.

The programme, which sees apprentices work in the office four days a week and study in a local college on the other day during the two-year course, begins in September. Successful graduates may then progress to full accountancy with Chartered Accountants Ireland or one of the other professional accountancy bodies.

McAteer said it’s is a win-win for the employer and the apprentice, allowing firms to broaden client offerings and provide excellent career prospects for students at this time. “It is another way of broadening the Grant Thornton skill base and opens us up to people who have had other careers, not necessarily involving accounting.”

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He encouraged smaller businesses to take part in the scheme to ease workflows and mould apprentices into their companies. 

In a small enterprise, the apprentice will get to see every aspect of the business, and that is a terrific learning experience. The accounting technician apprenticeship scheme is a win-win for the employer and the apprentice, and could not be any more hands on.

Gillian Doherty, Chief Operations Officer at Accounting Technicians Ireland said, “Our students, when they complete the apprenticeship, gain a much in-demand accountancy QQI Level 6 award and two years of sold 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.

The accounting technician apprenticeship provides a real alternative for Leaving Certificate students who prefer practical training to a full-time college programme, or for students who may have embarked on a college course and found it didn’t suit them. It is also an attractive option for existing employees and mature learners.

The programme will be offered in 10 locations nationwide including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Monaghan, Galway, Wicklow and Waterford. Leaving Certificate students and mature learners can now apply for this year’s programme. For more details see accountingtechniciansireland.ie

For more on Rebooting Ireland, see here.

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