The Fact Maker

Overall apprentice hiring grew by 4% in 2021 from the previous of 41%, expected to grow by 6% in 2022

“Over the last decade, awareness and perception about apprenticeships has significantly improved in India, resulting in a noteworthy surge in hiring of apprentices by employers. Incidentally in 2021, overall apprentice hiring spiked to 45% (increased by 4%), especially in sectors like manufacturing, BFSI, Retail, Logistics, ITeS and Pharmaceuticals. Even new age industries like e-commerce, ed-tech and essential services saw a significant spike in hiring. From a location perspective, both Tier I and Tier II locations have shown a positive hiring trajectory. South and West are more promising regions for apprentices, with Tamil Nadu and Gujarat leading the front. In these regions hiring was predominantly led by manufacturing, BFSI, Logistics and Retail sectors. One of the major paradigm shifts in the industry is the fact that now organizations are breaking the glass ceiling when it comes to their gender preference for apprentices. Traditionally when apprenticeships were more prevalent in manufacturing the inclination was towards hiring male candidates. Today not only has gender parity improved, bringing more women into apprenticeships but more organizations are also warming up to hiring from the transgender communities. In fact, in 2022, hiring is expected to further increase to 51%. In fact, in the coming years, more segments from the services sectors are expected to hire more apprentices. More Tier II locations (in addition to the current front runners) are expected to emerge as promising locations for apprentice hiring. Other than the sectors which have already gained momentum, industries like EVs, Electronics and Textiles are expected to hire more in the coming years.

While on one side there is acceptance, apprenticeship system is yet to reach its full potential. For apprenticeships to scale further, some strategic reforms are required. On one hand, MSDE is actively perusing the agenda for the simplification of the apprenticeship ecosystem (the current ecosystem being fragmented and difficult to execute). On the other hand UGC is pushing for increased adoption of Apprenticeship Embedded Degree Program launched year under the New Education Policy. Both these efforts have to quadruple to meet the agenda of increased apprenticeship adoption. More universities need to come forward to launch apprenticeships based programs (aligned with the new education policy) and to additionally offer experiential learning programs like degree apprenticeships which will enhance the employability of the youth by blending the mainstream education with skill development. Along with the this, we also need to shift from bi lateral transformation in the learning system (‘student and university’ or ‘apprentice’ and ’employer’) to a tripartite arrangement between the student (youth), academia and the industry. From a government intervention perspective, more states need to come forth and introduce relaxation norms for executing apprenticeships. Some of the states who have already initiated their efforts and launched special schemes are Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Telangana. We expect more states to realize the socio-economic benefits of apprenticeships and promote larger adoption by offering incentives”.