“Apprentices will continue to get their full stipend during COVID-19 Lockdown”: Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, MSDE

New Delhi: As a part of the Government’s commitment to fight the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and fully support the public, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) notified all the establishments under designated and optional trade to pay full stipend to apprentices engaged with them. Additionally, reimbursement of stipend to establishments under National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) shall be paid by the Government for the lockdown period as per the NAPS guidelines.

As per reference of Apprentices Act, 1961 amended up to 2014 and Apprenticeship Rules, 1992 amended up to 2019. Sub-rule 2(b) of Rule 7 states that if a trade apprentice is unable to complete the period of apprenticeship training due to strike or lockout or layoff in an establishment where he is undergoing training and is not instrumental for the same, the period of his apprenticeship training shall be extended for a period equal to the period of strike or lockout or layoff, as the case maybe, and shall be paid stipend during the period of such strike or lockout or layoff or for a maximum period of six months, whichever is less.

Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship expressed his views and shared, “This is the time when we all need to come forward and support each other completely. Even our honourable Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi appealed to businesses to act with empathy. And with this, we have decided that we will not let the morale of the country’s productive youth to be let down and will support them in every way possible. In view of this, we will ensure that apprentices continue to get their stipend during COVID-19 lockdown. I would also like to state that all the establishments have shown full commitment in this regard and are cooperating with the Government for the smooth delivery of services in a critical time like this.”

Apprenticeship has been recognized as an effective way to empower young people to smoothly shift from school and college to work whilst at the same time improving links between industry and training institutions. The National Apprenticeship Programme plays a large part in the task of up-skilling India’s workforce, offering the opportunity to share costs among different parties (employers, individuals and the government) and to involve governments, employers and workers in partnership. Apprenticeship is a win-win situation both for industry and youth in coming together to help make the vision of ‘Skilled India’ a reality in future.

The pandemic that originated in Wuhan in the Hubei province of the People’s Republic of China in January has so far claimed 26 lives in the country while infecting nearly 1045 people. Globally, it has caused about 27,000 deaths while infecting lakhs of people.