Accountancy body launches apprenticeship scheme for school leavers

Employers to pay minimum wage and offer paid study leave during two-year programme

Mary Leane, left, head of finance at the National Gallery of Ireland, and Katie Haverty, who recently finished her first year of the Accounting Technicians Ireland apprenticeship programme. Photograph: Fintan Clarke

Mary Leane, left, head of finance at the National Gallery of Ireland, and Katie Haverty, who recently finished her first year of the Accounting Technicians Ireland apprenticeship programme. Photograph: Fintan Clarke

 

A new apprenticeship scheme for school leavers interested in a career in accountancy could create 40 jobs in Dublin from mid-January, according to Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI).

The “earn-as-you-learn”, work-based study programme involves tuition costs being fully covered by the State.

Employers will pay apprentices the national minimum wage – €19,000 per annum – and offer three week’s paid study leave per year during the programme.

ATI sources and screens applicants and then refers them to employers for interview. It is currently seeking employers interested in participating in the programme, which will begin on January 14th.

Accountancy firms Grant Thornton and BDO, smaller high street firms as well as organisations in industry and the public sector (including the National Gallery of Ireland) have already participated in the apprenticeship programme, according to ATI.

The apprentices will work four days a week with a registered employer and attend college lectures one day a week at ATI’s academy.

The programme leads to a Level 6 TI advanced certificate in accounting and graduates may then progress to a full accountancy qualification with Chartered Accountants Ireland, over an additional three-year period.

The apprenticeship provides an alternative for leaving cert students who want to pursue a career in accountancy, but prefer practical training to a full-time university course, or for students who may have embarked on a college course and found it didn’t suit them.