All That You Need to Know About the Apprenticeship Act and its Eligibility

All That You Need to Know About the Apprenticeship Act and its Eligibility

Apprenticeship programs are an excellent way for prospective employees to learn special skills skill that organizations may require. It is also easier for employers to identify talent and prospective employees for very specific needs. To ensure that apprentices are not exploited and that labour law compliance is followed, the Apprentices Act of 1961 was enforced and amended twice in 1973 and 1986.

The pandemic affected organizations, who, despite the surge in economic activity, will always require employable talent, and a solution to this might be the aspect of apprenticeship. As a matter of fact, in 2020, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship assured 2.43 lakh apprentices across the country that they would be paid their stipends in a move that would cost the government an estimated 36 crore INR, all thanks to the Apprentices Act.

The Apprentices Act, 1961

  • The Apprentices Act, 1961 was enacted to ensure statutory compliance and promote the training of trade apprentices within an organization to ensure they are skilled and proficient tradesmen.
  • The act covers apprentices from various backgrounds, including engineering, non-engineering, technology, or any vocational course. Employers must provide training to apprentices either by themselves or through the help of an approved agency.
  • Apprentices above 14 years of age and are physically fit with basic education can undergo apprenticeship training. They are to be paid a minimum amount as a stipend. In some cases, a part of the burden of the stipend will be handled by the government.
  • Apprentices must attend all practical sessions and master a trade, work for a specified duration, and qualify themselves as skilled persons. Apprentices are given mandatory on-the-job real workplaces, scenarios, and sectors including agriculture, banking and finance, retail, and logistics.
  • Employers must provide adequate working conditions and ensure that apprentices have leave, vacations, holidays, compensation, and other amenities. Employers cannot ask apprentices to work overtime unless they are granted permission or the work is in line with the apprentice’s interests.

Eligibility of The Act 

The act allows as many sectors and organizations to be covered under this act as it looks to include as many sectors and industries as possible. Therefore, in the interest of compliance management for organizations, it is beneficial to know whether an organization or industry falls within the purview of this act. Firstly, any organization with 30 or more employees must have mandatory apprenticeship programs. While the mandate of this act extends to almost every known industry and sector, there are two conditions where they may not apply.

  1. Any industry and any area unless the Central Government notifies the public in the Official Gazette.
  2. Special apprenticeship schemes for imparting training to apprentices, notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette

Penalties Covered by the Act

Section 30 of the act covers details regarding penalties for organizations or employers who do not comply with this act, while section 32 covers details regarding penalties for employees who do not comply with this act. Section 30 covers every specific detail relating to an employer’s behaviour and the protocol required to respond to notices that they may receive for failure to comply. Fines and penalties for employers can range from one thousand INR and above and eventually may also result in imprisonment.

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