150 jobs on offer in latest round of accountancy apprenticeship programme

Accounting Technician apprentices Conor Fogarty, Gabrielle O’Reilly and Ciaran Brennan. 150 jobs are to be created in Northern Ireland though the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy. Picture by Fintan Clarke

A TOTAL of 150 new jobs are to be created in the north through an accountancy apprenticeship programme.

The Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy is a work-based learning programme where apprentices will earn at least the minimum wage whilst studying for an industry recognised professional qualification.

As part of the programme, which begin in September apprentices work in a practice, financial service, or public sector organisation four days a week and spend the other day studying in a local college for the duration of the two-year programme.

Now in its fifth year, the apprenticeship, which is funded by the Department for the Economy, offers a Level 5 Diploma for Accounting Technicians awarded by Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI), and is equivalent to a Foundation Degree.

Chief operations officer at Accounting Technicians Ireland, Gillian Doherty believes the programme is particularly appealing to school leavers who prefer learning by experience to full-time college education.

“When students complete the apprenticeship programme, they will have a strong, in-demand accountancy Level Five Diploma, two years of solid work experience and the opportunity, if they wish, to progress to further study in accountancy, business or finance,” she said.

“This is a pan-sectoral programme which meets the needs of industry, practice and the public sector, and graduates enjoy exemptions from the full range of professional accountancy bodies including Chartered Accountants Ireland.”

There are currently 112 businesses employing 150 Higher Level Accounting Technician Apprentices across Northern Ireland.

From September, the Northern Ireland Audit Office will also join the scheme and are currently looking to recruit at least three apprentices.

For more details of the apprenticeship contact ATI's HLA Programme Manager at or one of the six participating colleges: Belfast Metropolitan College, Northern Regional College, North West Regional College, South West College, Southern Regional College and South Eastern Regional College.

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