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Govt Wants India Inc To Hire Apprentices

March 26, 2024 13:45 IST

Under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, close to 1 million apprentices will be trained in FY24.

IMAGE: Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Gerd Altmann/

The ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship has sent notices to nearly 180,000 companies, asking them to comply with the provisions of the Apprenticeship Act and hire the mandated number of apprentices, people in the know of the matter told Business Standard.

This move comes at a time when the Congress has decided to guarantee a first job through a 'right to apprenticeship law' in its election manifesto.

"To increase the uptake of apprenticeship, compliance notices were sent to nearly 180,000 companies registered on the apprenticeship portal," the person said.

"They were reminded that it is the last month of this financial year and they should fulfill their obligation under the Act by recruiting the requisite apprentices," the person added.

Under the Apprentices Act, 1961, in each financial year, each establishment is mandated to engage apprentices in a band of 2.5 to 15 per cent of the total strength of the establishment, including contractual staff, of which 5 per cent apprentices are to be freshers and skill certificate holders.

Under Section 30 of the Act, the shortfall in apprentices is punishable with a fine of Rs 500 per apprenticeship for the first three months and thereafter Rs 1,000 per month until such number of seats are filled up.

"Of the establishments that have been given notices, close to only 20,000 are fully compliant with the provisions of the Act, and 44,000 somewhat comply in some form or another.

"Usually, paying a fine is easy for these establishments, thus our effort is to make them fully comply and get the remaining establishments to hire apprentices," the person cited above said.

"We are also working to bring more firms to register on the apprenticeship portal," the person said, adding those who fully comply with the law can ignore the notice.

This move is part of the government's strategy to generate awareness and promote apprenticeship in the country to create a skilled workforce.

Currently, under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, close to 1 million apprentices will be trained in FY24, bringing the total apprentices figure to 4 million since the scheme was launched in August 2016 to boost apprenticeship.

In a X post earlier this month, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge promised that the party, if it comes to power, would provide apprenticeship training to every diploma or degree holder below 25 years of age in government or private sector.

All apprentices will receive Rs 1 lakh annually or Rs 8,500 per month for a year.

Sumit Kumar, chief strategy officer at Teamlease Apprenticeship, said that in any modern economy, it was expected that apprenticeship participation would be between 3 to 4 per cent of the total workforce, roughly translating to around 20 million apprentices.

"We must expand substantially faster to align our demographic dividend with predicted economic growth by linking apprenticeship with higher education through degree apprenticeships and encouraging more small and medium enterprises to engage with apprentices," Lu.

"Usually, manufacturing sectors like the automotive industry, electronics, and states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have performed better when it comes to hiring apprentices," the person cited above said, adding, "Sectors like sports, financial services, power, and media have performed poorly."

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