Deciding to retrain and pursue a career in accountancy has been an excellent career move for Ballymena man William Williamson who was awarded an Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) Diploma with distinction at Northern Regional College’s Higher Education and Access Graduation ceremonies.
William was employed as a production operative at JTI Gallaher’s and following the announcement that the factory was to close, he decided to retrain. He enrolled on the ATI course at the College’s Magherafelt campus – the diploma is an internationally recognised professional qualification to fast-track a career in accounting and finance. He came third overall in the ATI summer exams, finishing ahead of over a thousand other students who sat the exams at 16 different locations throughout Ireland.
When Gallaher’s announced the redundancies in October 2014, NRC liaised with the company to conduct a skills audit of the workforce to help them obtain relevant qualifications, either by accrediting their previous experience or providing the training necessary, to gain relevant skills and qualifications.
William enrolled on the ATI Diploma as a part-time student and, for the next two years, continued to work at the factory while completing the course on day release. Now with his sights set firmly on accountancy, he says signing on for the ATI Diploma was one of his best career moves ever. Since getting his results, William has been getting experience working with a local accountancy firm. In the longer term, he plans to continue working towards becoming a Chartered Accountant.