The Apprentice Act 1961 –
What it holds for Employers and Apprentices?

Blog   wpadmin   August 9, 2021

Executive Summary:

      • This article highlights the applicability of apprentice provisions and throws light on the important provisions of Apprentice Act which every employer as well as apprentice needs to know.


In India, The Apprentices Act, 1961 was formed with the initiative to provide training to qualified workforce in various trades and promote new skilled manpower. The Act aims to serve as a connector between potential employees and the employer.

Who is an Apprentice?

The Act explains apprentices to be the ones who receive apprenticeship or practical training under an apprenticeship scheme for a specified duration. The person undergoing the training must be of 14 years of age, and in case of special safety requirement, the minimum age requirement is 18 years. Other than the aforementioned qualification, extra qualifications may be prescribed for special trades and special categories of apprentices.

“Apprenticeship Training” is a course of training in an industry or establishment, under a contract of apprenticeship which consists of:-

  • a. Basic training component and
  • b. On-the-job-training (OJT)/practical training at workplace.

Who is mandated to appoint Apprentices?

1. All the establishments having workforce (regular and contract employees) of 30 or more are mandated to engage apprentices and to undertake Apprenticeship Programmes in a range from 2.5% -15% of their workforce (including contractual employees) every year.
2. For establishments having a workforce between 4-29 this is optional.
3. Establishments have a workforce of 3 or less is not permitted to engage apprentices.

Responsibility of the employer hiring an apprentice

Every employer shall have the following obligations in relation to an apprentice, namely:

  • (a) To provide the apprentice with the training in his trade in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and the rules made thereunder;
  • (b) If the employer is not himself qualified in the trade, to ensure that a person who possesses the prescribed qualifications is placed in charge of the training of the apprentice;
  • (c) To provide adequate instructional staff, possessing such qualifications as may be prescribed, for imparting practical and theoretical training and facilities for trade test of apprentices; and
  • (d) To carry out his obligations under the contract of apprenticeship.
  • (e) If personal injury is caused to an apprentice, by accident arising out of and in the course of his training as an apprentice, his employer shall be liable to pay compensation which shall be determined and paid, so far as may be, in accordance with the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, subject to the modifications specified in the Schedule.

Duties of Apprentice

  • An apprentice must master the selected trade with utmost attentiveness and awareness. He ought to strive exceptionally to qualify himself as a skilled person in the related trade for the period of apprenticeship.
  • He has to attend all the practical and instructional sessions given by the employer or someone particular on his behalf on a normal basis.
  • An apprentice must obey all lawful orders of the employer and other superiors in the organization.
  • An apprentice should work for duration as specified by the employer which might be subject matter to the prescribed period of the training period.
  • He should carry out all of the responsibilities which are mentioned in the apprenticeship agreement.
  • The apprentice’s behavior and the knowledge or skills will be assessed with the help of the person who set the guidelines and regulations that practice to corresponding employees in an establishment.
  • Any argument or dispute which could rise under the apprenticeship agreement shall be raised to the Apprenticeship Advisor for resolution.

Contract of Apprenticeship

There shall be a registered contract between apprentice and the employer. Such registration of contract is mandatory for both kinds of trades that are designated trade and optional trade. Registration can be done through online mode. Detailed procedure of online registration of Apprenticeship contract has been provided under the Act. If in case an apprentice is a minor then he/she can enter into contract through his/her Mother or Father.

Stipend to apprentices-

The employer shall pay to every apprentice during the period of apprenticeship training such stipend as may be specified in the contract of apprenticeship and the stipend so specified shall be paid at such intervals and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed. Per the Apprentice Amendment Rules 2019, revised stipend payable to an apprentice can go up to INR 9000 and the minimum stipend amount that will be paid to trade apprentices will be based on qualification.

Apprenticeship Portal

To make things easier for the youth as well as the industry, an apprenticeship portal has also been recently launched by the Prime Minister, where all companies would be required to publish their trade-wise requirement of apprentices. This would serve as a convenient platform to match the demand and supply of apprentices across industries and geographies. Apprentices are now encouraged to apply online, and apprenticeship contract approval would also be online. This would make way for online interaction among apprenticeship applicants, Government, and the corporates. The Corporates would publish apprenticeship details on this portal instead of submitting tedious returns, and the Government would get data directly from the portal.

Government Support

As per the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, the government refunds 25% of stipend, up to a maximum of Rs 1,500 per month. This is applicable for all apprentices with an employer. The government also helps in sharing the cost of basic training with Basic Training Providers (BTP).

Applicability of various legal statutes to Apprentices

As the apprentice undergoing apprenticeship training in an establishment is a trainee and not a worker throughout the apprentice training program, statutory benefits like Bonus, Provident Fund, Employee State Insurance Act, Gratuity, Industrial Disputes Act and so forth aren’t applicable to the apprentice trainee.

However, provisions of Factories Act concerning fitness, safety and welfare are applicable to the trainee. Also, for injuries occurring during the course of employment, Apprentice would be entitled to get compensation from the employer.


This article enlists all important provisions which both, the employer as well as the apprentice is supposed to know. By reading this article an apprentice and employer both will be able to understand the key provisions applicable to them and act accordingly so that the initiative with which the act came into force will be served and will prove effective. The apprenticeship portal provided by the government is also proving very helpful for implementing the provisions of the act like registration of apprenticeship contracts, matching of demand and supply of apprentices etc.

Legal Team

Proind Business Solutions Private Limited
306, Tower B, I-thum, Plot No A-40, Sector 62, Noida, UP, India- 201301
No.: +91 120 4224203
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