Apprentice Act : The 2014 Amendment
Apprentice Act : The 2014 Amendment The Apprenticeship Training Scheme in India has not been satisfactory in comparison to the growth rate of the Indian economy. The youth has not been able to reap the benefits of the Apprenticeship schemes despite all the training facilities that are available in the industry. An enormous amount of available infrastructure in place is going to waste.
The Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, 2014 that proposes to amend the Apprentice Act, 1961 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 7, 2014. The Act was enacted with the objective of regulating the programme of training of apprentices in the industry by utilizing the facilities available for options like on-the-job training.
The amendments in 1973 and 1986 included under its purview the graduate technicians and vocational technicians. The problem with the act is that the employers found it too rigid to encourage the engagement of apprentices, particularly the provision related to a penalty that created a serious fear of prosecution in the mindset of the employers.
The Central Apprenticeship Council is a statutory body. On the basis of the recommendations made by the CAC, there were some amendments proposed. The Bill makes five major amendment clauses. The Bill makes clear the definitions of :
- Designated trade,
- Graduate or Technician Apprentice,
- Trade Apprentice,
- Industry and
It has further define optimal Trade and Portal site. The Central Government is now empowered to make rules according to clause 5 of the bill that seeks to insert section 5(A). The Central government can now make rules about the qualification, the duration of apprenticeship training, the holding of the test, certification and other conditions relating to the apprentice in trading. IPR INDIA
Section 6 empowers the government to make rules for providing the period of apprenticeship training. Section 8 shall empower the central government to make rules for the employer to decide upon the number of apprentices to be engaged for the designated and optional trades. The Bill limits the provision for training in a designated trade only. The Act also states that apprentices (trade) who have not received prior institutional training shall be imparted basic training before admission in the workshop for practical training.
The Bill postulates that such training can be provided in any institute with adequate facilities. Section 19 (2) proposed the empowerment of the central government to make rules for the employer to furnish details and information of returns on regular intervals by the time the authorities have a web portal developed. Some minute changes proposed are:
- Providing for training for non-engineering graduate and diploma holders.
- Providing for employers to undertake new courses based on demand.
- Providing for an e-portal for exchange of Information.
- Providing for inter and intra-state hiring for the apprenticeship.
- Reducing penalties to only fines.
The act includes the power to make retrospective rules but no such rule affecting prejudicially any rights shall be applied retrospectively.Overall, the Bill seeks to make amendment to basic definitions, to increase minimum age for apprenticeship in hazardous industries, the number of apprentices, the cooperation between employers for training, practical training to apprentices, syllabus and equipment for practical training, grant of certificates, hours of work, overtime, leave and holidays, and, with most controversy and questioning, does away with imprisonment as a punishment for violation.
The bill was passed by a voice vote with a majority stating that the legislation was aimed at enhancing the skills of the youth and would make for more opportunities for employment. The Bill has been criticized as a “draconian” law, which shall leave a lot of autonomy in the hands of the employers to deal with the trainees in any manner they prefer. The Bill waives the provision for prosecution and hence the hasno penalty.
Therefore, with a lot of apprehensions to bring about a positive change for the Indian youth, the Bill looks forward to making progressive changes in the lives of the trainees who may have better employment opportunities and livelihood options and lesser unemployment.
 “Parliament passes Apprenticeship Bill”, The Hindu, 27th November 2014, Url: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-passes-apprentices-bill/article6637197.ece
 The Apprenticeship (Amendment) Bill, 2014
 “The Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, 2014, Heath, Labour, HRD, PSR India.
 “Rajya Sabha passes bill to amend Apprenticeship Act”, First Post, 26th November 2014,