A graduate of the programme has advised Leaving Certificate students not to feel pressurised into entering full-time third level education.
An accountancy apprenticeship programme is to create 140 jobs this year.
Applications are now open for the Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) Apprenticeship - based in colleges in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Monaghan, Waterford and Wicklow.
A graduate of the programme has advised Leaving Certificate students currently sitting their exams not to feel pressurised into entering full-time third level education.
The ATI Apprenticeship is a funded, two-year, work-based learning programme in which apprentices work, learn and earn at least €21,060 a-year.
Large firms and smaller practices, as well as industry and the public sector, have all embraced the programme.
Dublin-based ATI graduate Katie Mikulan, 23, who initially pursued a degree before deciding to begin the Apprenticeship in 2020, said it was the best move she ever made.
“I began an accounting and finance degree after my Leaving Certificate, but university was not what I expected; I did not enjoy it as much as I thought and left after a year and a half,” said Katie, from Skerries, North Dublin.”
After quitting university and working as a customer assistant at Tesco and a beauty adviser in Boots, Katie opted to pursue a career in accounting after taking on an account manager role with Clarins and gaining a certificate in book-keeping.
She completed her two-year apprenticeship with Grant Thornton, where she worked in the international corporate tax team whilst studying part-time through the ATI Academy, located at the Institute’s headquarters in Chartered Accountants House on Dublin’s Pearse Street.
“I would recommend the apprenticeship if you are unsure about full-time third level education. Leaving Certificate students should not necessarily feel pressurised to go straight to university when there are so many other options available,” she said.
Gabriela Airini, Head of Education at ATI, said the Apprenticeship enables employers to recruit and upskill staff in a cost-effective manner as training fees are covered by the state agency, SOLAS.
“The Accounting Technician Apprenticeship continues to contribute towards job creation and business growth in Ireland with over 612 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 the skills needed to fill a range of accounting and finance roles across all sectors.
“Each year, more employers sign up and we now partner with over 331 across 22 sectors,” she added.
School leavers, Leaving Certificate students, career changers and mature learners can all apply through Accounting Technicians Ireland.
For more details on the apprenticeship click here.