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'Encourage apprenticeship to help work force'

Posted on Feb 27, 10:45PM | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 27 : India's Economic Survey 2012-13, tabled in parliament Wednesday, has encouraged the use of apprenticeship to provide entry-level training to millions of youths, who will be joining the country's workforce soon.

"Apprenticeships are an effective way of ensuring that entry-level workers have the skills required to join the formal workforce by 'learning on the job' and even 'earning while learning'," the survey tabled just a day before the general budget said.

According to the survey, authored by chief economic advisor to the finance ministry Raghuram Rajan, in the current environment, India's educational system is overburdened by a demand for quality education and is unable to produce "work-ready" labour.

"They (apprenticeship) can aid five important transitions that the labour force is currently making from agriculture to non-agriculture, from rural to urban, from the unorganised sector to the organised, from school to work, and from subsistence self-employment to wage employment," the survey said.

The survey pointed out that several countries have benefited from such programmes like Japan, US, Britain and Germany.

"More than 75 per cent of Germans below the age of 22 have attended an apprenticeship programme," the survey said.

The survey suggested that the rules and regulations overseeing apprenticeships need to be changed such that employers and prospective apprentices can choose each other freely by just requiring information on what will be learnt on the job and a minimum wage.