NEW DELHI :
The union government Tuesday said that it will reimburse 25% of the stipend amount given to 240,000 apprentices deployed in various industries and asked the companies to not cut their full stipend amount during the current lockdown period.
The communication from the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship comes as it realized that while directives have stated about the wage and job protection of employees, it had not categorically mentioned about the apprentices deployed in both technical and non-technical roles.’
“This is the time when we all need to support each other… In view of this, we will ensure that apprentices continue to get their stipend during covid-19 lockdown. I would also like to state that all the establishments have shown full commitment in this regard and are cooperating with the government," said Mahendra Nath Pandey, union minister of skill development and entrepreneurship.
The ministry said it has notified all the establishments “to pay full stipend to apprentices engaged with them. Additionally, reimbursement of stipend to establishments… shall be paid by the government for the lockdown period".
Apprenticeship has been recognized as an effective way to empower young people to smoothly shift from schools and college to workplace and government has been urging factories and services firms to hire upto 15% of their headcount as apprentices to boost the skill India mission and make youth job ready.
Terming the present coronavirus outbreak as a “catastrophic situation", labour secretary Heeralal Samariya had written to all chief secretaries of states and union territories asking them to work collectively in protecting interests of the working class. “In the backdrop of such a challenging situation, all the employers of public and private enterprises may be advised to extend their cooperation by not terminating their employees, particularly casual or contractual workers from job or reduce their wages. If any worker takes leave, he should be deemed on duty without any consequential deduction on wages for this period," the secretary had written.