Some 120 new apprenticeship positions are being created with the start of Ireland's first-ever accountancy programme.
Under the scheme, major firms throughout the country will offer both school leavers and mature students a chance to "earn as they learn".
Gillian Doherty from Accounting Technicians Ireland says it is addressing a shortage of skills within the industry.
"It will equip school-leavers and mature learners with transferable business skills and a technical knowledge of finance and accounting practice, which ultimately will enable them to secure employment in a broad range of accounting and finance roles," she said.
“The Government is committed to building a Republic of Opportunity. This is about making sure that every person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential,” said Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Richard Bruton TD.
“One of the greatest casualties of the recession were apprenticeships and traineeships. Enrolment in their career pathway collapsed and fell by over 80%.
“Through our Apprenticeship and Traineeship Plan we are rebuilding this important career pathway.
“This would see the present apprenticeship and traineeship system expand significantly, to cover all major economic sectors, and doubling enrolments to 14,000.
“This will require us to forge a new partnership with employers, both in the public and private sectors.
“I am delighted to be able to launch today the new National Accounting Technician Apprenticeship. This new national apprenticeship offers a welcome pathway to a career in accountancy and finance, where apprentices will learn critical skills to succeed in the field.
“I would encourage Leaving Certificate students who get their results this week to consider the programme as a solid option towards a career in accountancy and finance.
“Today’s announcement is an important step in meeting the targets set out in the Minister’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Plan, which seeks to double the number of annual apprenticeship and traineeship enrolments to 14,000 by 2020.
“Apprenticeship is a very attractive option for students. Apprentices can earn while they learn, getting valuable experience for future career progression, in this case as an accounting technician.
“Meanwhile, employers in all sectors can diversify their workforce through this work-based learning programme and develop a new stream of talent. It is very encouraging to see so many employers nationwide supporting the new initiative.”