The 15-day Apprenticeship Pakhwada (Fortnight) which saw participation of State Governments and the Industry came to a close today with the commitment to contribute 7 lakh apprentices in the current fiscal year. It is speculated that the number of apprentices would have doubled after the 15-day Apprentice Pakhwada.
Apprenticeship Pakhwada, which literally translates to Apprenticeship Fortnight, was launched in Delhi on September 30 by Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, the Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Many significant reforms were announced during this period including a stipend to apprentices between Rs. 5000 and Rs. 9000.
The Government had introduced comprehensive reforms to the Apprenticeship Act, 1961 in 2016, a move that saw about 7.5 lakh apprentices engaged in a span of two and a half years.
In the 15 days of the Apprentice Pakhwada, the industry has committed to engage 4.5 lakh more apprentices with States committing another 2.5 lakh apprentices. MSDE pledged Rs. 560 crore to State Governments to promote demand-driven and industry-linked skill development and signed 22 MoUs with various states through Third Party Aggregators (TPAs).
As many as 8 PSUs including Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL), Cochin Shipyard, Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL), Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), International Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) have committed to train about 35,000 apprentices.
Additionally, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) also signed an MoU with NSTI Mumbai to train solar technicians for sustainable energy sector.
Addressing the gathering at the closing ceremony, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said it was important to build skilling capabilities for both urban and rural areas.
"It is important to understand and map the demand for skilling programs in SME cluster associations in growth areas and industries, especially in the rural, agricultural and tribal areas of the country."
He said that the MSME sector has enormous scope for growth and there is an increasing need of skilled manpower for sericulture, horticulture, tribal arts and paintings, honey, bamboo, etc. sectors which have great potential of becoming export strengths for the country.
He said that we need to reduce our dependence on imports and move towards growing skills in traditional skills that will inch us closer to realizing the ambition of creating a five-trillion dollar economy.
Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, said, "Apprenticeship can provide hands-on training to candidates and provide a better industry exposure to help them gain confidence in a working environment. New job roles will need new skill sets and it is therefore important to inspire the youth to equip themselves with industry-relevant skill sets."
"We are training all our energies in creating a demand-driven model that caters to both industry needs as well as the youth to enable them with the skills necessary for jobs of the future. Together we must all pledge to make apprenticeship a pathway for the creation of a strong and stable workforce, which is extremely important for India to become the five-trillion dollar economy that we have set our sights on," he added.
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