Wicklow students urged to consider accountancy apprenticeship set to create 140 jobs

Wicklow students have been urged 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 Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Monaghan, Waterford and Wicklow.

And 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.

“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.

“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.”

Katie now works as a tax operations officer with Citibank and hopes to become a fully qualified tax advisor with the Irish Tax Institute.

“The Apprenticeship is also a great pathway to becoming a fully qualified accountant, as it offers exemptions for many of the top professional accounting bodies. The work-based element gives a great advantage in terms of career options, as experience is critical.”

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