The Government of India has undertaken a major initiative to impart relevant and industry-specific skills to a major part of its population which comprise of eligible youths. The trouble invoking figure of around 2.5 lakh trained apprentices is a major cause of concern for the nation and hence remedial measures have been adopted to improve that number to a healthy 50 lakh apprentices per year up to 2020.
To effectuate this objective the Government amended the Apprenticeship Act of 1961 and in August 2016, launched the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme or NAPS in order to promote the culture of Apprenticeship training and education as well as boosting the number of dextrous apprentices in the professional ecosystem of the country.
Importance of Apprenticeship Training in India :
Apprenticeship training is of extreme significance as it provides the opportunity for the utilization of the industrial resources in successfully bridging the skill gap that exists between the academic curricula and the practical on-field professional role. This can be achieved by employing the latest innovations in the field of technology as well as employing tried and tested age-old tools.
An apprenticeship promotion scheme like the NAPS is a bliss to the Indian indigenous industries as it can bridge the existing ominous skill gap both qualitatively ( through the introduction of apprentices who are well-versed in the relevant skills required for the seamless operation of the industrial functions ) and quantitatively ( by introducing a large number of competent individuals in every sector of the industry ). It is also extremely beneficial to the candidates as they learn the practical applications of theoretical knowledge in industrial functions and get real-time on-the-job training where they become aware of how the organizations operate.
Important characteristics of the NAPS scheme :
The salient features of the NAPS scheme can be highlighted below.
- The Central Government has pledged to provide reimbursement in case of the expenses that would be incurred while imparting the Basic Training to candidates by any kind of service provider. The Government will also reimburse a portion of the stipend payable to the apprentices.
- The employers opting for at least 2.5% to a maximum of 10% absorption of skilled apprentices into their organizations are required to cover these apprentices under Provident Fund and ESI schemes.
- Establishments which belong to the public sector or the private sector and are equipped with the necessary infrastructure are required to implement NAPS through the successful integration of Third Party Aggregators and Basic Training Providers into their environment
- The Basic Training is mandatory to candidates without any formal education imparted through ITI, Diploma or Degree programs. The OJT training can be of 24 months duration at maximum.
- The implementation of NAPS presents with a multitude of options for the integration of apprentices through another scheme like PMKVY, MES and the like.
How will the Indian industries benefit from the introduction of NAPS :
The NAPS scheme is advantageous to the industrial organizations as it is to the students. These benefits that the industries can reap through the implementation of NAPS can be summarised below.
- The Government has sworn to incentivize employers or organizations for their endeavors in preparing an industry-specific and industry-ready workforce. The Government will do so by reimbursing 25% of the stipend payable to apprentices employed in these industrial organizations.
- The NAPS scheme arrives with the promise of an end to end service to the employers through TPAs or Third Party Administrators who would process claims and provide cashless insurance facilities
- The NAPS program is crucial as it is a measure to address the existing Skill Gap of the industry. Thus customized training methods would tailor to the specific needs of the companies and result in their economic expansions.
- The NAPS program is a comprehensive scheme of absorbing eligible youths and providing necessary skills in order to improve their employability. Thus the overhead costs of recruitment undertaken by an organization are brought to a bare minimum.
- The NAPS program results in the integration of skillful apprentices in the core operations of the industry. It has been analyzed that their loyalty to the respective organizations is infallible and thus this reduces the decadence of the industrial functions.
Thus it is evident that the introduction of the NAPS program is beneficial to the future of the Indian industrial sectors and is responsible for ensuring the economic growth of the nation.