Goa government to absorb 5000 youth as apprentices

Panaji: The Goa State Industries Association (GSIA) has expressed concerns about the reluctance of Goan youth to take up apprenticeship opportunities in industries, despite the government’s efforts to make it mandatory for industries to hire apprentices and provide a stipend. According to GSIA, unemployed youth in Goa prefer to sign up as apprentices only with large manufacturing units and reject opportunities available with small and micro manufacturing units.

During a meeting on skill development and apprenticeship training, GSIA president Damodar Kochkar highlighted the issue to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Kochkar mentioned that most apprentices are being picked up by big companies, leaving limited options for MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) to provide opportunities for learning and absorption of apprentices.

To address the issue, the directorate of skill development and entrepreneurship in Goa has a scheme to pay a stipend to unemployed youth who are taken as apprentices by local industrial units. Chief Minister Sawant expressed his intention to bridge the gap between employers and unemployed youth so that at least 10,000 local youths can be hired as apprentices by July 15, coinciding with World Youth Skills Day.

Under the scheme, MSMEs in Goa can hire apprentices from various educational backgrounds, including school dropouts, ITI certified youth, and diploma and degree holders. Employers need to register on the apprenticeshipindia.gov.in portal, and the central government offers a stipend of Rs 1,500 per apprentice per month, with an equal contribution from the state government.

It is mandatory for employers with more than 30 workers to engage at least 2.5% of their employee strength as apprentices. GSIA appealed to industrialists to enroll on the portal and take advantage of the apprenticeship program. Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, which can last from one to three years, the youth receive a certificate from the Ministry of Skill Development.

Additionally, the Goan government plans to absorb 5,000 youth as apprentices in various departments, and the private sector has been challenged to absorb a similar number by mid-July.

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