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Apprenticeship Program in India-The way to Reboot the Post-COVID Job Landscape

Apprenticeship Program in India-The way to Reboot the Post-COVID Job Landscape

The existing apprenticeship programs in India are primarily focused to reboot the professional landscape of our country. Want to learn how? Read us.

Apprenticeship Program in India-The way to Reboot the Post-COVID Job Landscape

The concept of apprenticeship has gained traction from the beginning of the process of developing job-ready skilled candidates. It has always been used to bridge the gap between the demand for trained labor and job-seeking candidates. The reality in today's India is that there is not a scarcity of talent but rather a scarcity of employable talent. This creates a significant challenge in recruiting the right workforce. We can say that the war for real talent exists due to a scarcity of job-ready talented candidates. As a result, improved apprenticeship programs and laws have been implemented..

As a result of the 2020 pandemic, businesses are reconsidering their approach to hiring and retaining potential employees. Their primary goal has shifted from simply hiring to hiring job-ready candidates for long-term engagement. As a result, engaging and mentoring people willing to participate in apprenticeship programs is essential. Furthermore, it will assist in developing a pool of employable talent to face the post-Covid period.

The Concept of Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is a program in which candidates receive on-the-job training. They receive a minimum wage in exchange for their contribution and gain practical experience in their trade. In some cases, an apprentice may be required to attend classroom sessions in addition to practical work. Apprentices learn their trade or profession through work-based learning. With the passing of the Apprentices Act in 1961, apprenticeship training became legal. This Act governed the apprenticeship training program across businesses. The Act was revised in 1973, then in 2014, and again in 2015, when the government implemented the Apprenticeship Rules. The most recent changes made apprenticeship schemes more industry-friendly.

What is NAPS or National Apprenticeship Promotional Scheme?

The Indian government has actively promoted on-the-job training schemes to a large extent. To support this concept even further, the Indian government launched the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) on October 1, 2016. NAPS' goal is to increase the number of apprentices in India. The scheme is primarily concerned with two concepts:

  • The government will share 25% of the prescribed stipend with employers, up to a maximum of Rs. 1500 per month per apprentice.
  • It will cover basic training costs up to Rs. 7,500 per apprentice.

Some of the core features of NAPS are listed below.

  • Offering wider options to the apprentices
  • Incorporating technology for the ease of operation
  • Involving state/ UTs for the monitoring of apprenticeship training
  • Making the Third Party Aggregators (TPAs) important

How can Apprenticeship Training Programs Reboot the Post-Covid Job Market?  

There is no leash of doubt that the concept of apprenticeship or work-based learning is gaining a stronghold in our country. Yet it will be interesting to explore how apprenticeship training programs can reboot the post-Covid job landscape.

The most recent amendment to the Apprenticeship Act was made in 2019 to make the Act more industry-friendly. The new amendments give companies complete freedom to construct their own apprenticeship lessons and run the program in ways that satisfy their needs for a skilled workforce. Furthermore, apprenticeship training is no longer limited to the manufacturing sector, as the amendments make it mandatory for all companies, including those in the service sector. The scheme states that companies with more than 30 employees have to involve apprentices at 2.5% of their workforce each year. In addition, in exchange for their contribution, the companies would be required to pay the apprentices the minimum wage.

Furthermore, apprenticeship opportunities are no longer limited to engineering graduates. The program is open to any literate person who has completed class 5. These changes have broadened the scope of apprenticeship, allowing increasingly talented candidates to gain on-the-job training for a better career. Above and beyond any other change, the introduction of NAPS (2016) provided an additional boost to the scenario by committing the government to compensate for the expense of the stipend to the industry. However, the program needs to be processed online through the apprenticeship portal. The online portal through which the entire program is to function is housed by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).

Government schemes have indeed begun to yield positive results. A growing number of organizations are stepping forth to accept apprentices. Consequently, apprenticeship contracts surpassed three lakhs in 2019-20, an increase of 50% over 2018-19. Furthermore, the 'optional trade' path saw a significant increase, accounting for 1/3rd of all apprenticeship agreements in our country.

According to experts, the entire apprenticeship scheme could be improved further to restart the post-Covid job situation by incorporating apprenticeship embedded degree courses. There is also a plan in the pipeline to introduce these courses in around 150 colleges across India. However, this is a different topic for discussion. In terms of current work-based learning, businesses can hire apprentices and prepare them to meet the needs of their operations. As a result, they will receive job-ready candidates who will be able to jump-start their careers following the apprenticeship program. It has the potential to benefit businesses across industries by increasing the availability of skilled workers.

The Takeaway

The current situation is paving the way for a reboot of India's professional landscape by supplying skilled and job-ready candidates. But there is still a long way to go. When more companies come forward to incorporate apprenticeship programs and schemes, the programs will gain momentum. Indeed, apprenticeship programs offer organizations a low-cost way to acquire job-ready candidates in the post-Covid era. And if everything goes as planned, it could lead to sustainability and assist businesses and skilled candidates in meeting the obstacles posed by the pandemic.

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