Cavan students urged to consider new apprenticeships

Accounting Technicians Ireland says over 100 jobs will be created.

Cavan students are being encouraged to consider an accountancy apprenticeship programme which will create 140 jobs nationally this year.

Applications are now open for the Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) Apprenticeship - based in colleges in Monaghan, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Wicklow. Locally the courses will be offered through CMETB and Monaghan Institute.

There's a push nationally to encourage students to take up apprenticeship options, particularly as some students can feel pressured to enter 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 across the country have taken part in 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.

“College can be expensive, but a funded apprenticeship programme is a great alternative. Starting the ATI apprenticeship was the best decision I have ever made. I wish I had begun sooner.”

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.

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.”

School leavers, Leaving Certificate students, career changers and mature learners can all apply through Accounting Technicians Ireland.