This is the first apprenticeship program in the country that will give students academic credit for their on-the-job training towards diploma and degree programs and creates a new connection between skills and higher education.
The plan is to enroll two lakh apprentices annually into realtime training at the workplace, with an assurance of gaining a recognised skill certificate at the end of two years.
To put that in context, only about 2.5 lakh apprentices are trained across the country under a 53-year-old apprenticeship law due to its outdated rigid procedures and low stipends paid to apprentices.
Attempts by the previous UPA government to reform the 1961 apprenticeship law made little headway and it had steadfastly refused to approve the NETAP idea, for which an application was submitted to the Union labour and employment ministry in 2009. The ministry sought over 30 clarifications about the proposal, but didn't grant approval.
The NDA government at the Centre has now granted approval for the scheme through the technical education regulator under the Human Resource Development Ministry, to operate under its National Employment Enhancement Mission guidelines.