Apprenticeship Schemes fail to take off in a big way, Govt ready to do more if required
An abysmal 0.1% of workforce in India comprises of apprentices in comparison to much higher percentages in other parts of the world. With bulk of the employment (more than 60%) coming from MSME sector (medium & small sector enterprises), the linkages to apprenticeship have not developed on expected lines despite a liberalized regime of the Apprenticeship Act after it was amended in 2014 as apparently neither the industry nor the institutions have seen much value in it.
This is baffling the policy makers, who think that despite government doing all it could possibly do to push apprenticeship in the country, why change has not happened on ground. Accordingly, the supply driven model is being sought to be played around with demand driven by forging linkages of 40,000 colleges of higher education with local industry so that industry and academia forge a relationship that would translate into proportionate rise of apprentices in the workforce and help in replenishing labor market. This information was given by Rajesh Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, MSDE at an event in New Delhi hosted by India Apprenticeship Forum on Feb 15.
Aggarwal said that a strong VET (Vocational education & training) and quality manpower, a hallmark of European countries is achieved through dual education system and country’s education system was a no match. Saying that apprenticeship needs to be evangelized by the industry and eventually it will prove the X-factor in competiveness of enterprises. He said it is necessary if country has to hit double digit growth rate.
He also made it clear that low wage advantage is a passé and industry must embrace productivity, which again is extremely low in case of India.
It may be mentioned that government is popularizing apprenticeship through NEEM (National Employment Enhancement Mission).an National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS). There is a target of having 70 million apprentices by 2020 and therefore there is a reach out for promoting a culture of apprenticeship by various stakeholders, Sumit Kumar, Vice President- NETAP, TeamLease Services, said,“Apprenticeships are powerful tool to create talent. India has a well established and regulated apprenticeship system, however it is highly under-utilized. We need an active participation from employers, youth, regulators and academia to scale up the apprenticeship ecosystem in India. We hope this initiative of ours will translate in building human capital for the country, bridging skill deficit in industry and enhancing youth employability.”
The event also had a panel discussion on new age hiring outlook for apprenticeship programs, opportunities and challenges faced by the youth; hhiring, attracting & retaining the right talent and the multi-modal vs. modular training programs.