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An accountancy apprenticeship programme is set to create 150 jobs in the public and private sectors throughout Ireland this year.
Applications have opened for the Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) Apprenticeship, in partnership with further education colleges in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Meath, Monaghan, Waterford and Wicklow.
The funded, two-year, work-based learning education and training programme allows apprentices to work, learn and earn at least €22,035 a-year while attending college lectures one day a week.
It provides an alternative for school leavers who prefer practical training to a full-time college course – or those who started a course and found it unsuitable.
It is also an option for existing employees and mature learners who want to pursue accounting.
Dublin-based Tsuika Cheung, 32, is in the second year of her apprenticeship with fibre broadband wholesalers, Siro, at their Carrickmines headquarters.
The Hong-Kong native, who lives in Sandyford, said being able to work and learn at the same time has enhanced her career prospects and provided her with the option of becoming a fully qualified accountant.
“Though my background career was in accounting, I needed to update my skills to reflect Irish standards after moving here with my family,” said Tsuika.
“The apprenticeship programme was perfect for me and others such as Leaving Certificate students who are unsure of what to do, employees in the sector who want to further their careers or career changers who cannot afford to give up their jobs for full-time education.
“You get two years’ work experience, which is so valuable when applying for jobs, and you earn while you learn.
“The knowledge I gain through college can be easily applied into everyday practical work immediately, which makes it easier to understand and remember.”
The apprenticeship enables employers recruit and upskill staff in a cost-effective manner as training fees are covered by state agency, SOLAS.
Employers can also avail of a grant of €2,000 per-year for each apprentice they employ.
Gillian Noonan, finance manager at Siro and Tsuika’s workplace mentor, said the programme is a win-win for the employer and the apprentice.
“The Accounting Technicians Ireland Apprenticeship has been such a huge success for Siro that we have taken on another apprentice.”
Gabriela Airini, Head of Education at ATI, said the Apprenticeship enables employers to recruit and upskill staff in a cost-effective manner.
“The Accounting Technician Apprenticeship continues to contribute towards job creation and business growth in Ireland with over 650 jobs created since the programme’s foundation in 2017,” she said.
“Graduates gain a professional QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Accounting and have acquired practical professional skills needed to fill a range of accounting and finance roles across all sectors.
“ATI is continuing to work with over 350 apprenticeship employers which have hired Accounting Technician apprentices across 22 sectors.”
Leaving Certificate students, school leavers, career changers and mature learners can apply at accountingtechniciansireland.ie.