Cork students have been encouraged to apply for a national accounting technician apprenticeship programme available at Cork College of Commerce, which will create 20 jobs in the area this year and 150 positions nationally.
The accounting technician apprenticeship is a funded, work-based learning programme that sees apprentices earn at least €19,700 a year.
Leaving Certificate students and mature learners can apply for the programme through Accounting Technicians Ireland.
A Macroom graduate has said the scheme, which allows participants to work, earn and learn, provided him with the perfect career launching pad.
Matthew Casey (22), graduated from the programme last year after two years with Crowley and McCarthy Chartered Accountants in Clonakilty and now works with Moore Accountants in Cork City.
“It is a fantastic programme, a real hands-on experience from start to finish, and I hope to be a qualified accountant by the age of 25,” he said.
“After my Leaving Certificate, I was offered Commerce in UCC, but instead opted for the gamble of learning on the job.
“I am really happy with my decision and would recommend the accounting technician apprenticeship to anyone interested in accounting.”
One of Ireland’s top accounting professionals has given his backing to the accounting technician apprenticeship which allows participants work, earn and learn, saying it offers businesses a chance to reduce the risk of ‘group think’.
Grant Thornton Managing Partner Michael McAteer’s own accountancy career began with evening classes organised by Accounting Technicians Ireland.
He said the programme is a win-win for the employer and the accounting technician apprentice, allowing firms to broaden their client offering and provide excellent career prospects for students.
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 who would like to pursue a career in accounting.
The programme sees apprentices work in the office four days a week and study in a local college on the other day during the two-year accounting technician apprenticeship, which begins in September.
Successful graduates may then progress on to full accountancy with Chartered Accountants Ireland or one of the other professional accountancy bodies.
“The most important thing to avoid in any business is ‘group think’. If all your graduates come through college degree courses, you may find a certain mindset there,’’ said Michael.
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