Lok Sabha Passes Apprentices Bill
Lok Sabha on August 14, 2014 passed a bill which provides for apprenticeship training to non-engineering graduates and diploma holders besides others to expand the base of skilled workers in the country.
The Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which was opposed by trade unions, was passed by a voice vote, overruling demands by Congress for sending it to a Parliamentary Standing Committee for “deeper scrutiny” and “wider consultations”.
Piloting the bill to amend an act of 1961, Labour Minister Narender Singh Tomar said the measure is “revolutionary” as it will help the country to meet the growing requirement of skilled people whose number could rise to 23.75 lakh from the current level of 4.29 lakh.
He said the new law will entitle the apprentices to enjoy facilities like leave on par with the regular employees in any unit that has five or more staffers and save them from exploitation. In the bill, new trades, including IT-enabled services, would be included in the scheme of apprenticeship.
The bill empowers employers to formulate their own policies for recruiting apprentices and providing for exchange of information through a web-portal.
The Central government will also be empowered to make rules with regard to qualification, period of apprenticeship training, holding of test, grant of certificates and other conditions relating to apprenticeship in optional trade.
Rejecting the charge that stipend provided under the bill is less, the Minister said it has been linked to percentage points and accordingly a semi-skilled apprentice will get Rs. 3999 per month in the first year of training in Bihar and Rs. 6624 in Chandigarh.