New Delhi: The 15-day Apprenticeship Pakhwada, that saw State Governments and the industry come together for a commitment of 7 lakh apprentices in the current fiscal, ended in a grand closing ceremony in the capital today. Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises was the Chief Guest of the closing ceremony along with Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
The number of apprentices will have almost doubled after the 15-day Pakhwada. In 2016, the Government had introduced comprehensive reforms to the Apprenticeship Act, 1961, 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 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) committed to train about 35,000 apprentices. Additionally, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) signed an MoU with NSTI Mumbai to train solar technicians for sustainable energy sector.
Third-party aggregators (TPAs) and Sectors Skill Councils (SSCs) organized workshops and conferences, with the support of industry and state governments, across the country.
Addressing the gathering at the closing ceremony, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble 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. The MSME sector has enormous scope for growth and a great need of skilled manpower for sericulture, horticulture, tribal arts and paintings, honey, bamboo, etc, sectors that have great potential of becoming export strengths for the country. In fact, 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.”
Lauding the initiative to launch the Pakhwada, he added, “Technology, innovation, research and skill go hand in hand and always bring great value. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises will need all the support from the Skill Development Ministry in meeting the demand of its industries. Our efforts should be directed at converting knowledge and skill into wealth.”
Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 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, emphasizing the Prime Minister’s vision of taking the country on the road to growth.
On September 30, 2019, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister of Skill Development and entrepreneurship, had launched the Apprenticeship Pakhwada in Delhi, announcing the need to promote awareness about apprenticeship training among establishments and employers across manufacturing and service sectors. Many significant reforms were announced including a stipend to apprentices between Rs. 5000 and Rs. 9000. The National Apprenticeship Programme plays an important role in upskilling India’s workforce, offering different parties the opportunity to share costs.
Strengthening the Skill India Mission,NSDC, under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship has been collaborating with various stakeholders including industry, institutions, training providers and SSCs to empower and train youth with employable skills.