New Delhi, September, 2023.

To scale up apprenticeship training framework in rural areas, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Electronics & IT, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar today chaired the ceremony on the exchange of joint declaration between Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Common Service Centres (CSCs) – Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). As a part of the partnership, the CSCs will train 40,000 apprentices annually, extending opportunities to youth from nearby areas of local CSCs including students from Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and beneficiaries of Jan ShikshanSansthans (JSS). These trainings will improve digital literacy, nurture rural entrepreneurship, and spur inclusive socio-economic growth in the aspiring apprentices.

The partnership has a twin objective of:

a)Leveraging the regionwide reach, local expertise and community connect of CSCs to raise awareness about the latest reforms under the Apprentices Act, 1961, and simultaneously improve the engagement of youth in the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS);

b)To fuel further growth, collaborative efforts are being made to harnessthe potential of demographic dividend to catalyse rural development, promote the participation of women apprentices, empower local JSS and ITIs as well ascreate local opportunities for youth aligned with the concept of ‘vocalization of education’.

Another core facet is toencourageCSCs to play an integral role in driving apprenticeshipengagement between 2.5% to 15%within establishmentsat the district and state level to lay the foundation for last-mile skilling and standardized apprenticeship training at grassroot level.

The joint declaration was exchanged between Smt. Sonal Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Apprenticeship Training) and Shri Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, Managing Director, CSC E-Governance Services.

Speaking on the occasion,Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Electronics & IT, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekharsaid,”Education empowers with knowledge, but skills give you the ability to pursue the vast number of opportunities in this digitizedand ever evolving post-COVID world. Apprenticeship stands as a formidable concept, offering the chance to both earn and learn simultaneously. With this initiative, we are dedicated to extending apprenticeship prospects to non-urban youth of India. This MoU perfectly aligns with the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, who envisions empowering India’s youth on a grand scale. As he rightly stated, it is a techade of opportunities for our youth and apprenticeship will be a potent tool in paving path for future of work. This partnership between MSDE and CSC-SPVs signifies our resolute commitment to this empowering mission. Together, we strive to bridge the gap between education and employability, fostering a generation of skilled and confident individuals ready to shape the future of our nation.”

Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) said, “Apprenticeship has emerged as a visionary approach, extending to rural, semi-urban areas, and small industries – a true embodiment of the ‘earn while learn’ mode. Our ministry has set the ambitious target of training 47lakh youth in the coming years. By harnessing the extensive network of CSC in rural areas, we will not only augment the intake of apprentices  in  establishments but also create a roadmap for earn while learn mode.It is my firm belief that the synergies between MeitY, CSC and MSDE will extend training outreach, aligning with the vision of ‘Digital India’. It is heartening to see that the CSC is playing an integral role in Pradhan Mantri Vishwakarma Scheme, and in this spirit, the role of stakeholders in rural areas to raise recognition of skill sets, unlocking meaningful employment prospects and youth empowerment will be paramount”.

Sanjay Rakesh, Managing Director & CEO, CSCsaid, “Today’s partnership signifies a noteworthy stride aimed at proliferating apprenticeship opportunities from urban or Semi-urban localities to rural parts of India. This collaborative endeavour underscores our unwavering commitment to inclusivity, as we pave the path for the integration of women apprentices, fostering a holistic approach. By harnessing the far-reaching network and domain expertise of CSCs, we are effectively bridging the prevalent chasm between education and gainful employment. Simultaneously, we are cultivating a robust ecosystem that propels our nation’s youth towards a future rich with accomplishments.”

MSDE will play a pivotal role in establishing the comprehensive policy guidelines to adapt to changing industry needs, promote standardization, and create employment opportunities that meet the demand for skilled talent across industries. To ensure the seamless and streamlined implementation of apprenticeship engagement through CSCs, the ministry will designate the CSC- Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) as a Joint Apprenticeship Adviser (JAA) will track real-time digital progress, identify improvement areas and provide handholding support to nurture the apprenticeship ecosystem in India. 

Under the partnership, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited will be the implementation partner of the recent amendments, as well as spearhead the benefits of the Apprentices Act, 1961.It will enable village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) to engage apprentices in real time-work environment and empower them with job readiness, problem solving and practical skills. In alignment with the overarching goal of building awareness onapprenticeship, a simplified and user-friendly registration process for VLEs on apprenticeship portal will be facilitated to ensure their seamless engagement in the initiative. It will create pathways for fresh talent to build their capabilities,improve apprentices’ engagement within establishments and facilitate their smooth transition from education to workforce, thereby, making them job ready professionals.

The event was graced byShri Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, MSDE; Shri Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, Managing Director, CSC E-Governance Services.Shri Sanket S Bhondve, Joint Secretary,MeitY and  Shri Naveen Sharma, VP- Skill Development, CSC SPV.