It is argued that an important solution to India’s challenges of education, employment and employability lies in state governments adopting apprenticeships on a large scale. Examine its importance and how it can be done. (200 Words)

Wikipedia defines apprenticeship as “a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study”. Thus earning while learning is the central idea of apprenticeship. It has following importance:
  1. It provides an avenue for people who do not or can’t pursue higher education. This integrates them to the labour market at the same time as continuing their learning.
  2. Anecdotal evidences encountered in campuses say that training like apprenticeship at  an employer makes the person more likely to be hired by the employer.
  3. There are benefit for the employer too. A study in UK found that employers gain 26 times their investments on apprenticeship stipends.
Despite these benefits, the number of apprentices in India is minuscule at only 3 lakh. This in meagre compared to numbers in Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc. Only 25000 employers are on board as against 2 lakh in Germany.
State Governments should adopt apprenticeship on large scale:
  1. States should establish State Apprenticeship Corporation (SAC) as a public-private. SACs will anchor programmes on state strengths such as tourism in Rajasthan, information technology in Karnataka, etc. SACs can work with the Board of Apprenticeship Training under the MoHRD and Regional Directorates of Apprenticeship Training of the SDEM Ministry to open state offices. The SACs should facilitate credit for apprentices from partnering universities.
  2. The Apprenticeship Amendment Act 2014 provides for wide-basing (including non-technical and diploma courses, and in new trades like IT). It empowers employers to make their own rules and include courses that are in demand.
It is hoped that such measures would increase the number of apprentices in India fifty times to 15 million.



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