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School-leaver route to Chartered Accountancy offers alternative to University


ulster accountantsA high demand for Chartered Accountants is providing Northern Ireland’s school leavers with superb opportunities to enter employment whilst studying for their accountancy exams part-time according to the largest professional body of accountants in Northern Ireland.

The Higher-Level Apprenticeship Programme, available at 6 further education colleges across Northern Ireland, is a work-based programme which enables students to earn while they learn as an employee with a local accountancy practice.

Over 100 young accounting apprentices are currently studying on the school-leaver programme in Northern Ireland, having taken the alternative entrance route to a career in accountancy and finance.

Dawn Johnston, Chair of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society which represents almost 4,000 Chartered Accountants in Northern Ireland said: “There is currently a high demand for Chartered Accountants across all sectors, which presents some fantastic opportunities for young people who want to go straight into employment with a local firm. Our school leaver route allows students to embark on the Chartered Accountancy qualification straight from school.

“It’s a cost effective way to complete a qualification with multiple locations and a variety of distance learning options as well as the ability to earn while you learn with a reputable local accountancy firm. The school leaver route offers an alternative, part-time alternative to university for students who are ready for the world of work.

Dr Louise Maguire of Chartered Accountants Ireland said: “Our member firms are registered training organisations and are well placed to provide a collaborative and supportive learning environment. They provide excellent career development opportunities and through Chartered Accountants Ireland, students will have the opportunity to attain an internationally recognised qualification which offers the ability to work all over the world including destinations such as Australia, USA, Canada and the Caribbean.

“Chartered Accountants Ireland also offers the opportunity for anyone to study to become a Chartered Accountant outside of the apprenticeship programme. Students of any age who have completed A-Levels or the Leaving Certificate can study with our sister body, Accounting Technicians Ireland and then progress to study Chartered Accountancy after two years, or after their first year with a merit pass. Studying to become a Chartered Accountant is very flexible with part-time courses, distance offerings and competitive fees.”

Apprentices will typically be recent school leavers who have undertaken A-levels or other suitable Level 3 qualifications. Applicants must be at least 18 years old on or before 1st July in the year of entry to the apprenticeship.

Applicants should have a minimum GCSE ‘B’ grade in English language and Mathematics and will normally have attained a minimum of 240 UCAS points achieved through the completion of A Levels in any subject or an Extended Diploma in Business and Finance, related area or equivalent qualification.

The Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accounting is currently available at Southern Regional College; Belfast Metropolitan College; Northern Regional College; North West Regional College; South Eastern Regional College; and South West College.

Further information is available at www.charteredaccountants.ie/schoolleavers