Pharma major Cadila Pharmaceuticals is actively contributing towards the government’s SKILL INDIA MISSION through its unique apprenticeship program. To encourage apprenticeship training, pharma major Cadila Pharmaceuticals has employed nearly 200 youth across its plants. All the apprentices are enlisted under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) and are paid the prescribed stipend amount. NAPS is being implemented by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in optional trades, which includes sectors such as Pharma, Retail, IT ITes, Media, BFSI among others.
With an objective of assisting the young talent and helping them groom themselves for a better future, Cadila Pharmaceuticals’s Dholka facility has nearly 100 apprentices in various functions. The organization has also employed 42 apprentices at its Jammu facility and 52 apprentices at its Ankleshwar facility. Cadila Pharmaceuticals’s apprentices are deployed across various functions such as production, finance, quality assurance, quality control, supply chain and more.
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship is implementing NAPS program in the country. Inviting participation from industry and corporates in the country, NSDC intends to spruce up the skilling programmes to increase the number of apprentices being hired by enterprises in the country. The aim is to fill the gap in supply and demand for skilled workforce and meet the aspirations of the youth by providing on-the-job training and securing better employment prospects. To boost apprenticeship training, the new pilot projects focused on providing incentives to Third-Party Aggregators (TPAs) and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) have been launched by NSDC.
Dr Sunil Singh CHRO, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, said, “The best way to empower today’s youth is to equip them with the right kind of skills and an environment where they can grow. For this reason we don’t just stop at basic training for the individuals. After completion of the Apprenticeship period they are converted to Technical Trainees where their training is divided into 2 phases, each phase of 6 months. Many of these apprentices are also absorbed within the company depending on vacancies. We also have an ITI Trainee Engagement Plan where they are engaged for 3 years in the company’s training scheme.”
Cadila Pharmaceuticals selects candidates with qualifications such as B Pharm, M Pharm, M. Sc, B. Tech, and M. Tech, as well as pass-outs in various trades from Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), through the apprenticeship portal. The apprenticeship opportunity allows the candidates to refine their skills through on the job training, while also providing a steady stream of skilled workforce to the pharma industry.
Apprenticeship training is one of the most efficient techniques to provide demand driven skills and address the technical skill gaps faced by employers. Keeping this in mind, the Ministry of Skill Development has brought significant reforms to the apprenticeship rules to drive greater participation in the program.
These reforms include:
- Upper limit for engaging apprentices increased from 10% to 15%
- Size limit of an establishment with mandatory obligation to engage apprentices lowered from 40 to 30
- Payment of stipend for 1st year has been fixed rather than linking it to minimum wages, 10% to 15% hike in stipend for 2nd and 3rd year to apprentice
- Duration of apprenticeship training for Optional Trade can be from 6 months to 36 months
- The industry has the option to design and implement their own Apprenticeship programs
- Under NAPS, the establishments / industry can get reimbursement upto 25% of the stipend paid to the apprentices
Central Public Sector Units (CPSUs) and Corporates are playing a critical role in the success of the apprenticeship program and are coming forward to increase their engagement with apprentices for building their potential to be industry ready.