Accountancy scheme pays dividends for local firms

A national accountancy apprenticeship programme, which allows applicants work, earn and learn has been hailed as a huge success by one of Cavan’s leading firms and a local apprentice.

The Accounting Technicians Ireland apprenticeship programme at Monaghan Institute will create 20 jobs in the region this year, and 150 positions nationally.

The apprenticeship is a funded, work-based learning programme which sees apprentices earn at least €19,700 a year.

Leaving Certificate students and mature learners can apply for the programme through Accounting Technicians Ireland.

The programme sees accounting technician apprentices work in the office four days a week and study in a local college on the other day during the two-year 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.

Jack Trainor (18) from Crossdoney is coming to the end of year one of his Accounting Technicians Ireland apprenticeship with Cavan Town firm KBG Accountants.

“I was planning the traditional route to third-level when KBG gave a presentation at my school on the work of Accounting Technicians Ireland apprentices at the firm,” said Jack.

“I became extremely interested in the apprenticeship. It offered the opportunity to gain very practical work experience while allowing me to study and gain a qualification.

“On Mondays, I attended Monaghan Institute and for the remaining four days of the week, it is on-the-job training with KBG.

“The apprenticeship is designed so academic knowledge can be applied while working. That suits me as I find I pick things up quicker that way.

“I have a hugely supportive work-place mentor and the experience has been very positive. KBG and Monaghan Institute communicate and understand what needs to be addressed.

“I am learning important skills at a fast pace and am enjoying the apprenticeship because it gives great insight into what it takes to work in this sector.

“It is a great way to start a career in accountancy and opens many opportunities to advance to degree level and become a qualified accountant.”

KBG has taken on four Accounting Technicians Ireland apprentices, and according to partner Mark Reilly, the programme has huge benefits for the apprentice and employer.

“We have found that apprentices who choose this route from Leaving Certificate are just as capable as graduates who spent three to four years at third-level,” said Mark.

“It offers an accelerated option to becoming a chartered accountant within five years, and for the employer is a cost-effective way of employing new workers.

“We train the apprentices from the very beginning as to how exactly jobs are to be completed and can mould them into what they need to be.”

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