The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship vide a notification dated 25th September 2019 has published the Apprenticeship (Amendment) Rules, 2019 to increase skilled manpower in the country, and raise monetary compensation of apprentices. This Amendment seeks to raise hiring limit of apprentices to 15 per cent of total strength of an establishment, and to increase their stipend to up to Rs 9,000 per month. The changes brought by this amendment are as follows-
1.The Amendment Rules has introduced definitions to important terms under Apprentices Act, 1961 and the Apprenticeship Rules, 1992 such as- “Degree Apprentice”, “Fresher Apprentice”, “National or State Certificate holder”, “Regional Directorate of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship” , “School pass out” “Sector Skill Council” and “Skill Certificate holder”.
2. In Rule 7A (3), it is provided that the period of apprenticeship training for optional trade shall be a minimum of six months to a maximum of three years. Prior to this Amendment, the period of apprenticeship training was maximum 1 year for non-engineering graduate apprentice and for other apprentice, minimum six months and maximum of two years.
3. A new Rule 7A (18) is inserted which provides that-
a. Every apprentice undergoing apprenticeship training in an establishment shall be a trainee and not a worker.
b. The provisions of any law with respect to labour shall not apply to an apprentice.
4. Changes brought to Rule 7B (1) are as follows-
a. The employers having four or more workers shall only be eligible to engage apprentices. Before Amendment, employers having six or more workers were eligible to engage apprentices.
b. Engagement of apprentices by establishment having thirty or more number of workers shall be obligatory. Prior to amendment, it was obligatory for establishment having thirty or more number of workers to engage apprentices.
5. Within a financial year, each establishment shall engage apprentices of minimum 2.5 per cent. to 15 per cent. of the total strength of the establishment including contractual staff. Again, in the engagement minimum 5 per cent of the total to be reserved for fresher apprentices and skill certificate holder apprentices. Prior to the amendment, establishments were required to engage apprentices of minimum 2.5 per cent. to 10 per cent. of the total strength of the establishment including contractual staff.
6. In no month, number of apprentices should be less than 2 per cent and more than 18 per cent of the total strength of the establishment.
7. The minimum rate of stipend payable to apprentices per month is changes as follows-
|Category of apprentices||Prescribed minimum amount of Stipend in Rupees|
|School pass-outs ( class 5th – class 9th )||5000 per month|
|School pass-outs ( class 10th)||6000 per month|
|School pass-outs ( class 12th)||7000 per month|
|National or State Certificate holder||7000 per month|
|Technician (vocational) apprentice or Vocational Certificate holder or Sandwich Course (Students from Diploma Institutions)||7000 per month|
|Technician apprentices or diploma holder in any stream or sandwich course (students from degree institutions)||8000 per month|
|Graduate apprentices or degree apprentices or degree in any stream||9000 per month|
8. During the second year of apprenticeship training, there shall be an increase of 10 per cent. in the prescribed minimum stipend amount. During the third year of apprenticeship training there shall be 15 per cent. increase in the prescribed minimum stipend amount.
9. An establishment can engage apprentices of age eighteen and above in normal working hours of the establishment. Apprentices under the age of eighteen shall be engaged in such training between the hours of 8.00 am and 6.00 pm.