Staff Reporter

  • Figure for 11th Plan is twice that of 10th Plan period
  • "Now we are trying to target districts also"

    CHENNAI: About 2.8 lakh students passing out of vocational, ITI and engineering colleges in the southern region will be provided apprenticeship training in the 11th five-year plan period, said A. Ayyakannu, director and adviser, Regional Central Apprenticeship Training.

    The figure for 11th Plan is twice that of the10th Plan period. The apprenticeship scheme has helped rural students in a big way, Mr. Ayyakannu said. In the 10th Plan, scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) women and physically challenged candidates formed a major portion of the trainees.

    About 12 per cent of the trained candidates belonged to categories such as SC/ST and the physically challenged. Eight per cent of the candidates were from minorities and women formed 28 per cent of the 1.40 lakh candidates who underwent the training. Through job fairs in major cities in the four southern states and in the Union territory of Puducherry the Board had placed 2,000 candidates last year, he said. "Now we are trying to target districts also." The future for candidates taking up apprenticeship is bright with more industries providing training. The stipend in multinational companies is also higher.

    A gazette notification hiking the current stipend amount by 33 per cent is expected, Mr. Ayyakannu said. Currently the stipend ranges from Rs. 1,090 to Rs. 1,970 for the various categories.

    At present, the Board conducts the interviews and selects candidates but industries may go to colleges, select students and train them. The industries, however, must provide details of the training programme to the Department.

    On May 30, the Board will hold a walk-in interview for graduates and diploma holders in engineering and technology.

    "The college principals provide the list of qualifying candidates and we identify the candidates and have a walk-in interview. The MNCs coming up in Irungattukottai need more Plus Two candidates. The stipend for these candidates will also be higher," he said.

    "We have identified 1522 industries across the southern states. Plus two vocational students are placed in assembling, testing and related work in MNCs. In automobile factories engineering graduates may be placed in design, manufacturing or quality control. Students are trained in various fields such as manufacturing, automobile, software, pharmaceutical, process and computer hardware industry," Mr. Ayyakannu said.

    The Board of Apprenticeship Training is a central government sponsored autonomous body under the Human Resources Development Ministry in the Department of Higher Education.

    The training scheme was introduced in 1961, under the Apprentice Act passed by the Parliament.

    Apprentices are given stipend and on completing the one-year training candidates receive a Government of India certificate, enhancing their job prospects.