ACCOUNTING Tech-nicians Ireland, the leading professional body for accounting technicians on the island of Ireland, while welcoming the soon to be established National Internship Scheme, has cautioned that the scheme will need to work far more quickly than its current two year target to achieve the beneficial effect of 5,000 internship places within the economy.
Speaking at a special ceremony admitting new Fellows to the Institute this weekend, Margaret Ryan FIATI, President, Accounting Technicians Ireland, said that while she gave a very strong endorsement to the Government’s recently launched Jobs Initiative, a speedier establishment of the National Internship Scheme is crucial to avoid a continuing drain of talented people with new qualifications. She also urged SMEs in particular to avail of the scheme wherever possible.
At the ceremony, a total of 85 long standing members of the Institute were conferred with Fellowships of Accounting Technicians Ireland. Among the graduates were Edenderry man Patrick Laverty.
The designation of Fellow is only awarded to the most experienced members of the professional body and entitles individuals to use the letters FIATI to differentiate their senior standing within the accounting profession.
“I was delighted to hear the Government’s plans to establish a National Internship Scheme as part of the Jobs Initiative that will see an extra 30,000 places created for extra training, education and upskilling. The 5,000 internship places will go some way towards ensuring that the huge private and public investments that have been made in education are not wasted in the current climate where many new entrants to the jobs market are tending first to look abroad for employment opportunities before considering their options at home” said Ms Ryan.
“We hear anecdotally through our members that many SMEs who have survived the recession to date, and who are now stabilised within the current economic climate, are on the cusp of taking on new staff. They are now at the point where business is not getting any worse, they do still have great difficulty with funding, getting paid and finding business, but they have learned quickly to become more competitive, how to offer better value to their customers and how to survive. Albeit coming from a retrenched business position, they have the work to be done and they now need this flexible new incentive to create job vacancies.
“The Government can do nothing about the businesses that have failed but our economy now depends on the businesses that made it through. Therefore, the more rapidly that this scheme is introduced the better, and I would say that the two year target for implementation needs to be accelerated so as not to unduly delay the recruitment of new interns by the SME sector where there is considerable recruitment potential.
“Accounting Techn-icians Ireland members are largely avoiding the worst of the recession, with over 95% of people with our qualification currently in employment in all areas of Irish enterprise. This high level of employability is greatly helped by the fact that our students only qualify once they have gained two years work experience and can go out into the market with ‘on-the-job’ skills. However, in recent years, many graduates have been finding it increasingly difficult to acquire relevant experience. As such, we feel that if the National Internship Scheme is not introduced speedily, there is a considerable risk that students about to graduate in all fields of study, and not just our own, will be forced to take positions abroad.” said Ms Ryan.