‘Apprenticeship Act to be amended to increase opportunities’

The Centre proposes to amend the Apprenticeship Act to further enhance apprenticeship opportunities for the youth, and the amendment bill is likely to be come up in the Parliament during the Monsoon Session, a senior official said on Thursday.

In a group media interaction, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Secretary Pravin Kumar said that in the proposed amendments, service sectors would be brought under the ambit of the Act.

“Amendments are made to make it more stakeholder friendly and to increase the number of trades with inclusion of the service sector,” he said.

With introduction of “optional trade” category, the Act will expand the sectors where apprenticeship could take place, he added.

“Removal of stringent penalty clauses involving imprisonment with fine by executive authorities will also be made part of amendments,” he said.

Pravin Kumar also emphasised that the definition of establishment will be amended by including any place where any trade, commerce, or industry activity is taking place, including educational or training institutions.

“This will further expand the institutions available for apprenticeship,” he said.

He stressed that the amendments also allow part time apprenticeship during the formal education system, enabling industries registering in India to send apprentices at their sites abroad, as well as multiple training venues which include training at client or supplier locations or premises of other companies within India, Pravin Kumar said.

“Replacing the provision of contract approval by apprenticeship advisors with provision of mere intimation of contract to the authorities has also been planned,” he said, adding that the proposed amendments would help in “better enforcement” of the Act as by giving powers to executive authorities.

Kumar said that the apprentices’ enrollment witnessed a hike from 1.11 lakh in 2015-16 to 2.35 in 2020-21 (till January 31, 2021).