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“Manufacturing sector has been an early adopter of apprenticeship”

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AI, Apprenticeship, Automobile, Financial services, Healthcare & hospitality, Heavy engineering, Human capital, Logistics, Manufacturing, NETAP, Pharma, Retail, Soft skills, TeamLease Skills, Training, Interviews

Sumit Kumar, VP, NETAP, TeamLease Services, on the rise of building human capital.

What is NETAP? How has it evolved over the years?

National Employability through Apprenticeship Program (NETAP) is a blended apprenticeship training program offered through TeamLease Skills Universities which is focused at creating productive workforce by blending work based learning with online or onsite learning. Over last 4 years NETAP has empowered 1.3 lac youth with capabilities to make them job ready. Over 500 organizations across sectors have engaged with NETAP to build human capital for various job roles. The program is 100% funded by employers and gives them the flexibility to design the program as per their talent needs.

How has apprenticeship adoption fared in Maharashtra in the last 3 years?

The State has crossed a mark of 10000 trainees deployed across sectors. Over last three years the growth has been consistent with an average growth rate of 90 -95% year on year.

Manufacturing has been one of the preliminary industries which adopted apprenticeship – How has this grown in the last few years?

Manufacturing sector has been an early adopter of apprenticeship. Maharashtra has a healthy mix from manufacturing and services. About 60% of the apprentices in the State are from manufacturing sector.  Top three sector are – Automobile, Pharma & Heavy engineering.

What are the other key sectors where adoption has been significant pan India and what sectors are faring well in Maharashtra?

Retail, financial services, logistics, healthcare & hospitality are other sectors which have seen fairly good adoption of apprentices. In Maharashtra its Retail, Financial services, hospitaliy and logistics has seen good progress in adoption of apprenticeships.

When it comes to overall growth of the apprenticeship model, what % does manufacturing contribute to?

So far manufacturing sector has the maximum share of around 75%

Which are the top skills in demand in the state?

The top skill is soft skills which are needed in retail, BFSI, hospitality and ITES. Also, technical industrial skills for manufacturing sector has seen fare share of demand. AI & web technologies are in demand in IT sector.

What does Maharashtra need to focus on to ensure increased adoption and scaling of apprenticeships?

There has been a close partnership between industry and academia to create right talent. The regulations are conducive for industry, however, the acceptability from society continues to be a concern. Apprenticeships should be linked with higher education in form of degree apprenticeship program. This will see a good adoption from society as well.

Please comment on the state of education, skilling training and employment opportunities in the state.

Education needs to be more output focus is currently missing. Also, work based learning is important to build capabilities which needs to be embedded in both technical and non technical streams of educations. Maharashtra has a uniqueness of good mix of services and manufacturing, hence the employment opportunities are in retail, financial services, infrastructure, IT/ ITES, pharma and automotive sectors.

What are the major challenges that apprenticeship faces in India?

  1. Lack of awareness on apprenticeships by both industry and youth.
  2. Lack of platform to match supply with the demand, especially in services sector.
  3. Acceptance of apprenticeship as preferred choice for career and low perceived value of apprenticeships by society

What should the government focus on in order to increase adoption?

The missing link is higher education connectivity with apprenticeship. This can be the game changer. Encouraging partnership between industry and academia will have more meaningful outcome.

Sumit Kumar, VP, NETAP, TeamLease Services.

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