Government of Andhra Pradesh organizes first-of-its kind conference on Apprenticeships

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The Government of Andhra Pradesh organized a first-of-its-kind conference to promote apprenticeships through engagement with all the stakeholders. The conference was organized on 11th July in Visakhapatnam with focus on implementation of Apprenticeship Scheme in Andhra Pradesh. The conference was attended by dignitaries from the government, the industry, training partners, sector skill councils and other organizations.

Click here to refer to the program, the participants and the sessions.

The speakers included Mr. K. Sambasiva Rao, IRTS, Managing Director and CEO, Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation ; Mr. Solomon Arokia Raj, IAS, Secretary, Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Andhra Pradesh; Mr L V Subramanyam, IAS, Special Chief Secretary – Sports & Youth Advancement Government of AP; Mr. Rajesh Agrawal, IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India; Mr Kollu Ravindra, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Law, Justice, Skill Development, Youth and Sports, Government of Andhra Pradesh; Mr. M Sandeep Kosaraju, General Manager – Operations, Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation; Mr. Surajit Roy, Senior Head, National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS), NSDC; Mr. Ramaswamy Naraynan, Partner, KPMG; Mr. Mukund Menon, Convenor, HR Panel CII AP& Director – HR & Communications, International Paper APPM Ltd, Ms Anu Gupta, Head Skills, Inclusive Growth and Investment Team, DFID India; Dr. Madhuri Dubey, Founder – National Skills Network; Ms. Yamini Sadineni, Shreeyam Enerprises; Mr. Ramanujam TS, CEO, Logistics Sector Skill Council and others. Ten Sector Skill Councils had set up stalls during the event, with special focus on implementing NAPS.

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Below are some key points presented by the speakers in the inaugural session of the Apprenticeship Conference:

  • On the job training with stipend is much better than sitting idle with no job, however, progress in apprenticeship is far from satisfactory since very few enterprises are participating in the implementations of apprenticeship scheme.
  • There is an immediate need to dispel misconceptions; so far, it was considered that apprenticeship was meant only for manufacturing sector, it’s time to move it to services sector also. So far it was only for ITIs, we have to see how to make it useful for diploma holders and graduates and how to integrate it with skill development courses.
  • We have a huge number of youth who are unemployable. There is a high level of aspiration and skill sets are so poor and we are not able to place them in the market.
  • The government has come up with many skill development programs, they generously fund them but we still see that we cannot place them. It is an issue to be addressed.
  • In AP the students are provided training in soft skills so they are ready for employment. Latest technologies have been introduced in colleges, partnerships with various countries have taken place.
  • Its India’s turn to grow, China, Singapore have grown well. Before Africa takes over we have to grow. For that youth have to be effectively engaged. That’s why apprenticeship is important.
  • There is fear in industries that if they take apprentices they have to employ them which Is not true and apprenticeship is not related only to ITIs and polytechnics.

Significance of Apprenticeships and why MSMEs should implement National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS)

Mr Rajesh Agarwal Joint Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship addressed the dignitaries on the dais and the attendees of the conference and shared the following valuable insights regarding the importance of apprenticeship.

He first congratulated the government of AP for organising a conference like this dedicated to apprenticeship. He said though the Apprenticeship Act came in 1961 it never got adopted properly. He explained the need to understand why apprenticeship is important? For everyone the youth, the industry and the government.

According to him “Today there is the scenario where the world of work is changing drastically. What you do today is redundant by next year. If you want to prepare for the future this is the best industry. World over, if you look at industries that have done well on the skill development parameters where vocational education has done well, Labour productivity is high in the world it’s because of apprenticeship. “

Taking the example of Germany he said they have had a vibrant MSME sector and their core strength has been apprenticeship. When he went to meet the MSME guys there he saw they really compete to hire apprentices. Every year when students come out of college and go for campus interview, companies select good candidates and bring them as apprentices. They see this as the investment for future and their productivity in the company.

Lastly he pointed that if you catch the youth young they also don’t waste their energy in the wrong direction. They will focus on skill development and anybody who is 14 years or above can become an apprentice in a non- hazardous company and 18 years and above can become an apprentice in hazardous industries.

He brought out that informally or ignorantly in any profession apprenticeship is being practised like to become a doctor you have to do one year of residency a CA has to do 3 years of practice so you anyway do it, just that you don’t acknowledge and report it.

He showed why it should be called and recognised as apprenticeship, he said “if you do not give a standardized uniform competency or recognition and certification to it, the student’s mobility and growth will be stunted he will never be recognised as trained on a skill set.”

He mentioned the significant amendments made to the Act in Dec 2014 to make it more friendly to the employers and apprentices. The points he made were

  • Apprenticeship has been made mandatory for the services sector; any company that has more than 40 people or more should have 2.5% apprentices and can go upto 10%.
  • There is no compulsion to employ the apprentice in any organisation.
  • The government has provided us with a new window called optional trade, you can choose what to train the apprentice on and decide the duration. There is no uniform curriculum design or course required.
  • The government has also come up with the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) scheme to support the establishments. You have to adhere to certain norms to avail the benefits of the scheme like reimbursement of 25% of the stipend paid etc.

Implementing NAPS and why it is beneficial for the industry: Surajit Roy – NAPS head, NSDC 

Mr. Surajit Roy provided  an overview of the current situation in India and world in the context of skilling and how we should move move forward to address the unemployment issues. Some key points made by him are:

  • There is huge opportunity as there is dearth of skilled manpower in India and abroad due to ageing manpower abroad. PM initiative of making India the skill capital of the world is a progressive idea.
  • The institutional framework also helps in improving apprenticeship.
  • The amended act and rules have opened up apprenticeship before the industry as a self-regulation tool. The act is industry led. Industry can design its own courses.
  • A portal has been created for enabling apprenticeship and it will help interactions between all the stakeholders.
  • We have to reach the industry through various councils and organisations like SSDM, SSCs etc.
  • Only 0.1 % of our workforce is skilled. Hence we have a large scope for apprenticeship for skilling our youth.

He mentioned several success stories in the world which we can learn from in the context of apprenticeship and how every country that has taken to apprenticeship has gained:

Germany has one of the largest apprenticeship program in the world. 50% of its population has opted for its dual degree program. Advantages:-

  • Custom fit training avoids person-job disconnect. Correct hiring. Avoids wrong appointment
  • Better employee loyalty
  • Avoids skilled labour shortage
  • Social Goodwill
  • Savings on recruitment and induction cost
  • Brand Imag
  • Productivity of apprentice increases and net cost reduces
  • Adds value in 3 to 6 months

UK: Increased motivation, 70% of Airbus employee started as apprentices

India: Apprentice training in automotive study saves about INR 5000 and also the apprentice gets a stipend

USA: High attrition due to mismatch between skillset and industry requirements

He stated the proposed updates:

  • By 15 th July 2018, all details of apprentice training will be available on the portal
  • Large amount of flexibility has been introduced
  • Training can be done in-house by industry or can be outsourced to training skilling centre
  • Details of approved courses are on website
  • Additional courses can be added by industry
  • Assistance in creating courses can be provided
  • SCC CEOs can approve courses
  • Courses need to be registered to keep track of courses and stipends
  • Training partners and trainers centres are available on the portal to choose and utilise these resources.

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