Skilling the youth of
India- Changing the model
Year V, BA.,LLB(Hons)
NALSAR, University of Law, Hyderabad
These numbers show not even half of the total
population can be counted as the labour force of the
Capacity of training in India
Proportion of Population in the working age
58% (2001) 64%(2021)
Total Labour Force (2004-2005)
420 million 470 million
Total Labour Force (2009-10)
520 million- 40% of the Population
No. of persons
8039 with a capacity of
2133 with a capacity of
5906 with a capacity
of 6.84 lakh
For every million of the population between 15-19 years, no of places in
Rest of the
India’s Regulatory Framework and
The Apprentice Act , which is the regulatory
framework in India, no where claims to link itself
with improving skill based training or increasing
Instead, it aims to strictly control and regulate the
terms of apprenticeship and impose various
obligations on the employer without providing any
benefit, thereby disincentivising the employer from
even participating in the apprenticeship program
The World Bank Report estimates that close to 2/3rd
of the apprentices do not find jobs in what they were
trained for and 1/3rd of the apprentices are trained in
There is a mismatch between what the Act regulates
and what is demanded by the market
Problems in The Apprentices Act 1961 versus the German and
the Swiss Models of Apprenticeship
1) Qualiﬁcation to be an
2) Costs of the System
Ø Has to be above 14 years of age.
Ø Has to satisfy such standards oreducation and
ﬁtness as may be prescribed ( different
standards may be prescribed for different
Ø The cost of the Industrial Training
Institutes are borne by the employer.
Ø Employer pays for the basic training also
whether in-house or outsourced and the
cost of the stipend to the apprentice as
Ø Students are separated into different
tracks of secondary education at the age
of 10 years, amely Hauptschulen,
Realschulen and Gymnasien.
Ø End of Compulsory Schooling
(Hauptschulen) is designed for the
students who plan on doing
apprenticeship programmes which start
at age 16.
Ø Realschulen focuses on providing the
skills necessary for an apprenticeship
and more advanced academic theory is
taught as compared to the Hauptschulen.
Ø The highest level is Gymnasien which is
for students who plan to attend
Universities to do further studies.
Ø Shared between regional governments,
private companies and the apprentices
Ø Ordinance issued by the federal ofﬁce of
professional education and technology
which deﬁnes the qualiﬁcation of the
Ø System of education is dual because
student spend one day of week in school
and rest of the week trained by the
company or one week in the company
and next week learning occupationally
relevant subjects in school.
Ø Additional training in industrial training
centres for apprentice to learn
complementary practical skills.
Ø Cost are met through a mix of federal
and cantonal funds.
Ø The trade and professional
association bear the cost of
assessment of apprentices.
Ø Federal funds are available to small
ﬁrms that cannot meet all the training
requirement of an apprentice.
Ø Firms cover there training cost over
3-4 years of apprentice and manage to
make a small proﬁt.
Graduate Apprentice (Rules)
Ø Engineering Graduates: Rs 1970 p.m.
Ø Sandwich Course (students from degree
institutions): Rs 1400 p.m.
Ø Diploma holders: Rs. 1400 p.m.
Ø Students from diploma institutions: Rs 1140
Ø 1st year – 850 per month
Ø 2nd year - 940 per month
Ø 3rd year – 1090 per month
Ø 4th year – 1230 per month
Ø One-third of the wages of a
Ø They are ﬁxed across
through the collective
agreement of the
Ø Apprentices are paid, 1/5th the
wage of a Skilled Blue Collar
Worker which is
Suggestions: Ways to Improve India’s Vocational Programme
To make setting up an apprentice system attractive to the companies there has to be some
incentive to engage in it. Indian companies aren't interested in recruiting and training apprentices
as the entire cost in borne by them.
Both the German and Swiss ﬁrms have a large amount of freedom to allocate tasks to their
apprentices and the Swiss ﬁrms make the apprentices do the work that a skilled worker does.
Therefore, apprentices are highly productive from day one of the program.
Industries in India have no autonomy and have to follow a program set out by the apprentice
advisor appointed under the Apprenticeship Act, 1961. The German and Swiss companies, on the
other hand, handle the course content in the schools, making them occupationally relevant. They
revise the existing list of occupations being taught and also add new ones as per the market
requirement and this entire exercise is funded by the Government. The Government is also
responsible for funding education in the vocational schools as well. The companies are only
responsible for funding its own in-company training.
The wages of apprentices in India are determined by the Apprentice Rules decided in way back in
1992 and have not been increased since then. As compared to this, Germany and Switzerland
determine wages through Collective Wage Negotiations by the industry.
Further, Germany and Switzerland have a clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities of the
different authorities in their respective Apprenticeship Systems. In India, ﬁrstly Ministry of Labour
and Employment and HRD Ministry are involved and other authorities include National Council on
Vocational Training, State Council on Vocational Training and the National Skill Development
Corporation. There are so many authorities with no clear understanding on whose function is what
that there are parallel decisions on the same issues.
Added to this, in India, individuals are being trained in occupations that are obsolete. Demand and
supply need to be matched as mentioned before in the major lacunae in our Regulatory Framework.
This can be done using the Swiss method of “Apprentice Barometer”. At the central level there
are business surveys conducted twice a year and telephone surveys of all the youth between the
ages of 14 and 20 are taken as well. The regional government does this on a monthly basis.
Therefore, for a system of skilling to be efﬁcacious, an assessment of the apprentice market has to
Kathrin Hoeckel and Roberth Schwartz, Learning for Jobs OECD reviews Vocational
Education and Training: Germany, Sep. (2010);
Kathrin Hoeckel, Simon Field and W. Norton Grubb, Learning for Jobs OECD Reviews
of Vocational Education and Training, Switzerland, Apr (2009);
Hilary Steedman, The State of Apprenticeship in 2010, a report for the Apprenticeship
Ambassadors Network, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of
Economics and Political Science;
World Bank Report on Skill Development in India (2003)
Regina Dionius et al, Cost and Benefit of Apprenticeship Training: A Comparison of
Germany and Switzerland, Institute for the study of Labour, Apr (2008)
Apprenticeship Act 1961, Apprenticeship Rules 1992,Vocational Training Act 2005;
Vocational and Professional Education and Training 2002; Apprentices Act 1961
Planning Commission Report on Skill Development