The Central Apprenticeship Council Meets to Discuss New Reforms for Apprenticeship Training

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Sh. Mahendra Nath Pandey

Main proposals:

  • Proposal to raise the upper limit of engagement of apprentices from the existing 10% of total strength of establishment to 15%
  • Proposal to lower size limit of an establishment with mandatory obligation to engage apprentices from 40 to 30 and lower size limit of establishments eligible to engage apprentices on optional basis from 6 to 4
  • Proposal of rationalization of stipend payable to all categories of apprentices
  • Fixed stipend for apprentices linked to their educational qualification to make it easier for an apprentice to understand the program

In a bid to boost apprenticeship training in the country, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) today  organised the 36th Meeting of the Central Apprenticeship Council (CAC) to discuss the new reforms to be introduced in apprenticeship training through  amendments to Apprenticeship Rules, 1992. The 36th Central Apprenticeship Council aims to meet the aspirations of the Indian youth who strive to gain on-the-job training and secure better opportunities for employment.

The meeting was graced by the presence of Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Shri. R. K. Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State, MSDE, Dr. K.P. Krishnan, Secretary, MSDE, Shri Rajesh Agrawal, Joint Secretary, MSDE,Dr. Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), and Central Apprenticeship Council members amongst others.

Addressing the participants, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, said, “One of the key economic priority of our government is to make our economy into one with a GDP of five trillion dollar in which Skill Development has been kept on top priority right from the formation of this new government with active interest taken by the Hon’ble Prime Minister himself in the subject.  Apprenticeship can receive further momentum by introduction of innovative reforms. Care should be taken that the stipends provided to apprentices are not only adequate for the apprentices but also do not discourage industries to engage apprentices.”

“The proposed reforms in this CAC Meeting are an effort to increase the engagement of apprentices in establishments across the country. Apprenticeship training will give confidence to potential employers by filling current or predicted skill shortages by nurturing their own in-house talent along with ensuring increased employee retention. The proposals have been drafted with a long-term vision of connecting candidates with the right job profile,” he further added.

The council deliberated upon several reforms in the Apprenticeship Rules, 1992. Some of the most important reforms deliberated upon are:

A proposal was passed in the Council to raise the upper limit of engagement of apprentices from the existing 10% of total strength of an establishment to 15%, subject to a minimum of 5% of the total being reserved for fresher apprentices to give more opportunities to youth and get exposure to the shopfloor. In order to engage apprentices in smaller companies, a decision was taken to lower the size-limit of an establishment with a mandatory obligation to engage apprentices on optional basis from 40 to 30, and to lower the size-limit of an establishment wanting to engage apprentices from 6 to 4.

Under the rationalization of duration of apprenticeship training for optional trades, a decision was taken to amend the period of apprenticeship training for optional trades from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 36 months (3 years). In order to leverage Apprenticeship Training, various industries in the manufacturing sector had expressed a requirement for longer duration apprenticeship courses in Optional Trades which have courses only up to 24 months as compared to Designated Trades, which have courses ranging up to 36 months. Keeping in view the practice in apprenticeship training programs internationally, this decision was taken.

Further, it was brought to the notice of the Council that the present stipulated minimum stipend per month for apprentices is linked to the minimum wage of semi-skilled workers in the state concerned.A decision was taken to define a minimum stipend rate for each category of apprentices with a provision of an annual increment along with a revision of the minimum base stipend on an annual/biennial basis as the need may be.

Lauding the new reforms, Shri R.K. Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), said, “Apprenticeship training needs to be given a high priority to create an industry-led, practice-oriented, effective and efficient mode of formal training. The new reforms will prove an effective way for young adults to transit from school to work life while improving links between industry and training institutions.”