28 September 2021
By Elaine Murphy
A community-led local development company which works with families and businesses in the Ballyhoura region of east Limerick and north Cork is helping develop the accounting professionals of the future.
It has congratulated its three current Accounting Technicians Ireland apprentices on their progress.
Ballyhoura Development CLG champions the accountancy apprenticeship programme which allows students to work, earn and learn.
The company has previously taken on two apprentices in addition to its current second year apprentices, Margaret Carr from Kilmallock and Alicia McCormack from Limerick City.
Eileen Jewitt from Buttevant commenced the Accounting Technician Apprenticeship with the highly regarded development company in September.
The apprentices spend four days a week working and one day a week studying with their local partner college.
Margaret and Alicia study at Limerick College of Further Education, whilst Eileen is at Cork College of Commerce.
The Apprenticeship is a funded, work-based learning programme in which locally-placed apprentices earn at least €19,890 a-year.
The programme created 125 jobs nationally this year and has already been the source of over 450 positions.
As part of the Department of Further and Higher Education’s new Apprenticeship Action Plan launched in April, employers will be eligible for an annual base grant per registered apprentice from early 2022.
Employers will receive a €3,000 payment for each new apprentice registered before December 31, 2021.
Large firms and smaller practices, as well as industry and the public sector, have all embraced the programme.
School leavers, Leaving Certificate students, career changers and mature learners can all apply through Accounting Technicians Ireland. Participating colleges in Munster are in Cork, Limerick and Waterford.
Congratulating Margaret, Alicia and Eileen on their progress, Ballyhoura Development CLG chief executive officer Pádraig Casey, said the programme has huge benefits for the employer and the apprentice.
“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 Pádraig.
“For the employer, it is a cost-effective way of employing new workers, whilst for the apprentice, it offers an accelerated option to becoming a fully qualified accountant within five years.
“We train apprentices from the very beginning as to how exactly jobs are to be completed and can mould them into what they need to be.
“Apprenticeship programmes help develop skilled work forces across a number of sectors and will help rebuild the economy.”
Mary Gleeson, a former president of Accounting Technicians Ireland and financial controller at Ballyhoura Development CLG, says the funding of apprentices’ direct education and pre-vetting of candidates is a major plus.
“The Accounting Technician Apprenticeship programme provides a cost-effective method of recruiting new team members to support our qualified accountants. Well-trained, highly skilled staff add value to all organisations,” said Mary.
“Margaret, Alicia and Eileen are all very committed to the programme. They are a pleasure to mentor and have become an integral part of the finance team at Ballyhoura Development CLG.”
Mary’s commitment to community development saw Ballyhoura Development become a founding member of Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland (SERI), a movement to provide support to allow social enterprises to thrive.
For more details see accountingtechniciansireland.