Saturday 24 March 2018

How apprenticeships and traineeships provide students with new opportunities

Stock image
Stock image
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The modern era of apprenticeships includes white-collar jobs as well as traditional trades.

The latest one to come on-stream, Ireland’s first ever accounting technician apprenticeship, offers 120 new ‘earn as you learn’ positions, to school-leavers and others, with starting salaries of at least €17,797 a year (and no college fees!)

To be eligible to apply, this year’s school-leavers need 310 points from their Leaving Cert, including a minimum 05 in English and maths or accounting, while previous school-leavers need 300 points and ordinary level D3 in English and maths or accounting.

The jobs will be in major accountancy firms such as Grant Thornton and BDO, smaller high-street practices as well as organisations in industry and the public sector. They’re ideal for those who prefer a more practical approach to building knowledge and skills.

The apprentices will work in the office four days a week and study in a local college one day a week during the two-year programme, which begins on September 4.

At the end of two years, successful participants will have a Level 6 Advanced Certificate qualification, following which they may progress further up the accountant qualifications and career ladder.

This year the programme is running in partnership with Bray Institute of Further Education, Co Wicklow; Blackrock Further Education Institute, Coláiste Íde College of Further Education, Rathmines College of Further Education, all Dublin; Cork College of Commerce; and Monaghan Institute. There are plans to roll out the programme in other counties in future years.

Anyone interested should log on to or contact

Other areas where apprenticeships have been introduced in the past year include the insurance industry, the financial services sector, the medical devices and polymer processing industries and hospitality (commis chefs).

As well as apprenticeships, there are also more traineeships involving a similar ‘earn as you learn’ model, generally completed over one or two years, coming onstream.

A very successful one, in engineering, is a partnership between Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) and a local firm, Combilift, a global leader in forklift manufacturing.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News