50 % share reimbursed by Board of Apprenticeship Training

Industries engaging apprentices from polytechnic and engineering colleges can rest assured of prompt payment of 50 per cent share of stipend reimbursed by the Board of Apprenticeship Training, Southern Region.

The Board has awarded a project to the Indian Institute of Management-Tiruchi for arriving at a solution for settling bills submitted by industries on the 15 day through ECS (Electronic Clearing System). At present, the reimbursement takes effect after several months. The project titled ‘Re-engineering Accounts Module with Service-Level Agreement’ is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2013-14. The automated system of payment will be operational from July, 2013, informed A.Ayyakannu, director, Board of Apprenticeship Training, Southern Region. For over 50 years, the Education Ministry at the Centre has been administering the ‘Practical Training Stipendiary Scheme’ with the objective of imparting practical training to fresh engineering graduates and diploma holders in engineering, based on the recommendations of the Scientific Manpower Committee. Industries and establishments that took part on a voluntary basis were requested to share the cost of stipend payable to the apprentices equally, under the provisions of the Apprentices Act. It is mandatory now for all organisations to train notified strength of apprentices to satisfy the statutory obligation under the Apprentices Act.

The Act was amended in 1986 to include students of 10 + 2 Vocational, Junior Colleges or Intermediate pass out students as Technical (Vocational) Apprentices for one year training. In 2011, the Central government prescribed a minimum monthly stipend of Rs.1,970 for Technical (Vocational) Apprentices, Rs.2, 070 for sandwich course student of polytechnic college, Rs.2,530 for diploma holder in engineering and sandwich course student of engineering, and Rs.3,560 for engineering graduate. Industries are required to pay the stipend before the 10 day of the succeeding month. However, industries are free to pay higher stipend. Some leading organisations pay up to Rs.7,000 per month.

The Board of Apprenticeship, Southern Region, expects a project it has entrusted with Cognizant Technology Solutions for enabling students to secure one-year experience certificates online to the apprentices with digitalised signature also to get operational from July, 2013. Prospective employers can download the certificates for the purpose of recruitment. The certificate, Mr.Ayyakannu said, will be a document to establish one year experience for employment under Central and State government establishments.

The Board is now in the process of clustering blocks within districts and districts within regions in order to streamline the institution-industry proportion so that the scope for apprenticeship training could be expanded further, Mr.Ayyakannu said.