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AN OVERVIEW OF APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING SCHEME

BACKGROUND
Development of human resource is crucial for the industrial development of any nation. Upgradation of skills is an important component of Human Resource Development. Training imparted in Institutions alone is not sufficient for acquisition of skills and needs to be supplemented by training in the actual work place.

OBJECTIVES
Apprentices Act, 1961 was enacted with the following objectives :-
To regulate the programme of training of apprentices in the industry so as to conform to the syllabi, period of training etc. as laid down by  the Central Apprenticeship Council; and
To utilise fully the facilities available in industry for imparting practical training with a view of meeting the requirements of skilled manpower for industry.
 
EVOLUTION OF APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING SCHEME
National Apprenticeship Scheme was started in 1959 on Voluntary Basis.
Apprentices Act was enacted in 1961 and implemented w.e.f. 01.03.1962
Initially the Act envisaged training of Trade Apprentices only
The Act was amended in 1973 to include training of Graduates and Diploma Engineers as "Graduate" and "Technician" Apprentices.
The Act was further amended in 1986 to bring within its purview the training of the 10+2 vocational stream as "Technician (Vocational)" Apprentices.
It was further amended in 1997 to amend various sections of the Act as regards definition of  “establishment” and “worker”, termination of apprenticeship contract, number of apprentices for a designated trade, practical and basic training of apprentices, obligation of employers, penalty for contravening the provisions of the Act and cognizance of offences
The Act was again amended in 2008 to amend various sections of the Act as regards reservation for candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), expenditure on Related Instruction (RI) shall be imparted at the cost of employer and the employer shall, when so required, afford all facilities for imparting such instructions and to provide flexibility in respect of ratios prescribed for apprenticeship seats.
The act was further amended in 2014 replacing Trade-wise regulation by a band of 2.5% to 10% of the total strength of the workers, introduction of optional trades, extending the scope to non-engineering occupations, doing away with imprisonment for non compliance and limiting the penalties to fine only. Allowing outsourcing of Basic Training and bringing the establishments operating in four or more states into the fold of Central authorities for easy interface, etc.
 
MONITORING OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACT
DGT under MSDE is responsible for implementation of the Act in respect of Trade and Technician (Vocational) Apprentices in the Central Government, Central PSUs, Private Sector operating in 4 or more states / UTs through Regional Directorates of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (RDSDEs) located at every State/UT.
State Apprenticeship Advisers are responsible for implementation of the Act in respect of Trade Apprentices in State Government Undertakings / Departments and Private Establishments (having presence in less than 4 states).
For Graduate and Technician Apprentices, Department of Education in the  Ministry of Human Resource Development is responsible for implementation through four Boards of Apprenticeship Training (BOAT) located at Chennai, Kanpur, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
 
CENTRAL APPRENTICESHIP COUNCIL (CAC)
It is an apex statutory body. It advises the Government on laying down of policies and prescribing norms & standards in respect of Apprenticeship Training Scheme (ATS).
It was reconstituted with effect from 27th March, 2014 for 3 years.
 
COVERAGE
It is obligatory on the part of employers both in Public and Private Sector establishments having requisites training infrastructure as laid down in the Act, to engage apprentices.
260 groups of industries are covered under the Act.

STIPEND
The minimum rate of stipend per month payable to trade apprentices is as follows:

Stipend (Year wise)

Year Minimum Rate of Stipend
First Year
70% of minimum wage of semi-skilled workers notified by the respective State or Union territory
Second Year
80% of minimum wage of semi-skilled workers notified by the respective State or Union territory
Third & Fourth Year
90% of minimum wage of semi-skilled workers notified by the respective State or Union territory

The expenditure on stipend for trade apprentices is borne by the employers. Government shares 25% of the stipend under NAPS scheme.

The rates of stipend for Graduate, Technician and Technician (Vocational) apprentices are Rs. 4984 p.m., Rs. 3542 p.m. and Rs. 2758 p.m. respectively. (with effect from 19th December, 2014)

Expenditure on stipend for Graduate apprentices is shared equally between the employer and the Central Government.
 
TRAINING OF TRADE APPRENTICES
Minimum age is 14 years
Qualifications vary from Class VIII pass to XII class pass (10+2) system and Graduates
Period of training varies from 6 months to 2 years
Training comprises Basic Training and Practical Training as per prescribed syllabus for each trade
260 trades in 39 trade groups have been designated
Numbers of seats for apprentices are calculated in the band of 2.5% to 10% of the total strength of the workers.
Every apprentice and employer has to enter into a contract of apprenticeship training, which is registered by the Apprenticeship Advisers.
Employers and apprentices have to fulfill their obligations under the Act.

TESTING AND CERTIFICATION OF TRADE APPRENTICES
All India Trade Tests (AITT) for trade apprentices are conducted by National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT) twice a year (October /  November and April / May)
National Apprenticeship Certificates (NAC) are awarded to those who pass the AITT
NAC is recognized for employment under Government / Semi-Government departments / organizations
 
SKILL COMPETITION OF TRADE APPRENTICES
With a view to fostering healthy competition among apprentices as well as establishments, skill competition is organized at local, regional and All India levels.
Skill competition is held for 15 trades namely;  Fitter, Machinist,  Turner, Welder (Gas & Electric), Electrician, Mechanic (Motor Vehicle), Tool  &  Die  Maker (Die & Moulds), Tool and Die Maker (Press Tool, Jigs & Fixture),  Instrument Mechanic,  Draughtsman  (Mechanical),  Mechanic Machine Tool  Maintenance, Wireman, Mechanic (Diesel), Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning Mechanic and Electronics Mechanic.
 
TRAINING OF GRADUATE and TECHNICIAN APPRENTICES
126 subject fields have been designated for the category of Graduate and Technician apprentices.
128 subject fields have been designated for the category of Technician (Vocational) apprentices.
Period of post qualification training for these categories is one year.
Training program is prepared in joint consultation between Apprenticeship Adviser Establishment concerned.
Certificates are awarded on completion of training by the Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development.

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