News to cheer for apprentices: 45% of India Inc. keen to hire apprentices in H2 2021

Mumbai: NETAP from TeamLease Skills University has launched their latest edition of the Apprenticeship Outlook Report for H2 2021 (July to December 2021). According to the report findings, around 45% of the employers are keen on hiring apprentices in the current half-year (July to December). The report indicates a 4% increase in the intent compared to the previous half-year (January to June). The report not only indicates that employers are keen to hire but also highlights that close to 64% of employers are keen to further increase their current apprentice intake (a 6% increase from H1 2021).

Out of the 18 sectors analyzed in the report, 17 out of 18 sectors have shown has positive net apprenticeship outlook (NAO). Manufacturing & Engineering (68%), Retail (58%)& Automobile, and Ancillaries (58%) are the top sectors hiring apprentices. In fact, Manufacturing & Engineering is also one of the sectors which have recorded the strongest HY-on-HY growth (13%) amongst all sectors. From a city perspective, both metro and non-metro cities have been positive on the apprenticeship indicator, while some of the non-metros seem to exhibit a higher intent to hire apprentices. In fact, Lucknow (79%) and Ahmedabad (69%) seem to be faring better than the metros. Amongst the metros, Chennai (65%) and Delhi (58%) are the most promising locations for apprentices.

Sharing his views on the current apprentice hiring trends, Mr. Sumit Kumar, Vice President-NETAP, TeamLease Skill University said, “2021 has been a rewarding year for apprentices despite the economic concerns caused by the COVID crisis. The positivity in the ecosystem that we saw in the first half of the year, with 41% of employers keen on hiring apprentices, continues in H2 as well. In fact, more employers, close to 45% are looking to hire apprentices. What’s more interesting is that 64% of the employers are indeed interested to increase their current apprentice pool. This overall vigor in the ecosystem hints at the fact that more employers are realizing the potential of apprenticeships. In our country, talent deficit has been a major concern for the industry, but over the years, apprenticeships have played a pivotal role in addressing the skill and employability crisis. On one hand, apprenticeships have enabled employers to create a relevant and productive workforce and on the other hand, apprenticeships have empowered the youth with skills, channelized them towards formal employment, and enhanced their employability and livelihood”.

“While in the last few years, in order to boost apprenticeships, we have moved the needle in the right direction, but India is yet to reach its true potential. For a faster economic revival, for India to reach the vision of a $ 5 trillion economies, and for us to scale up to 10 million degree apprentices in 10 years, ease of doing apprenticeships will be a key focus area for all stakeholders”, added Mr. Kumar.

Dwelling deep into the report findings, from the perspective of the size of the business, hiring outlook to see an appreciable increase across Small (H2: 23%, H1:8%), Medium (H2: 42%, H1:37%), and Large businesses (H2: 61%, H1:50%), for the Jul–Dec 2021 HY as compared to the previous HY.

For apprentice categories; optional trade (H2:49%, H1:43%), degree apprentices (H2:48%, H1:28%), graduate apprentices (H2:36%, H1:17%) and designated trade (H2:36%, H1:16%) sees an uptick while trade apprentices see a 1% dip from 55% in previous HY to 54% in the July-December period. Fitter/Welder (13%) under Trade category, QA Engineer (15%) under Graduate category, IT /Computer Technician (19%) under Technician category, and Production Technician (16%) under Technician Vocational category are the most sought after job profiles for hiring during the current HY.

The Apprenticeship Outlook Report is a detailed survey, covering 14 cities and 18 leading sectors. The report has surveyed 833 companies and captures the hiring sentiment for the period H2 (July to December) 2021.

Key findings from the report

  1. The Net Apprenticeship Outlook for the current HY (Jul-Dec 2021) has increased by 4% over the previous HY to 45%. During the current HY 64% of employers (6% more compared to the previous HY) are likely to increase their hiring of apprentices.

2. Top 3 reasons for employers to increase hiring of apprentices:

  • To reduce skill gap via the apprenticeship mode: 30%.
  • To offset the workforce scarcity due to the Covid pandemic: 29%.
  • To make recruitment more cost-efficient: 26%.

3. Top 3 reasons for employers to decrease in hiring of apprentices:

  • Apprentices are not productive: 10%.
  • As a step towards downsizing the workforce: 10%.
  • Unavailability of training staff: 9%.

4. Sector Analysis:

  • The top 3 sectors with the highest hiring prospects in the current HY are Manufacturing & Engineering (NAO: 68%), Retail & Automobile, and Ancillaries (NAO: 58% each).
  • Agriculture & Agrochemicals is the only sector with a lower NAO of (34%) when compared to last HY (42%).
  • City Analysis: Employers in both metro/non-metros anticipate an increase in their apprentice hiring numbers for the current HY.

5. Metros:

  • Chennai has the highest NAO (65%) among the metro cities followed by Delhi NAO (58%).
  • Kolkata has the lowest NAO (23%).

6. Non-Metros:

  • Lucknow tops the NAO chart (79%) for the current HY followed by.
  • Ahmedabad with NAO (69%).
  • Coimbatore is at the bottom of the chart with an NAO of 20%.

7. Business Size:

  • Small businesses anticipated a strong hiring momentum with significant growth of 15% compared to the previous HY (Jan- Jun 2021). Large businesses report the strongest hiring outlook with an NAO of 60%, a growth of 10% compared to the hiring outlook of the previous HY.
  • Although small businesses reported the lowest NAO of 23% this HY, their hiring intentions have gone up by 15% compared to the previous HY.

8. Apprentice Category:

  • Trade (54%) and Technician (44%) category apprentices continue to witness the highest NAO during the current HY.
  • Optional Trade has witnessed the highest change in NAO with a growth of 32% in the current HY when compared to the previous half-year.
  • Fitter/Welder (13%) under Trade category, QA Engineer (15%) under Graduate category, IT / Computer Technician (19%) under Technician category, and Production technician ( 16%) under Technician Vocational category are the most sought after job profiles for hiring during the current HY.

9. Other Findings:

  • Stipends: Most employers pay relatively higher stipend (in the Rs.15,000-20,000 range) in Jul-Dec 2021 when compared to ( Rs10,000-Rs 15,000) range in Jul-Dec 2020.

10. Gender Preference:

  • Employers have expressed preference (36%) for male & (32%) for female candidates in Jul-Dec2021. Whereas in Jul-Dec2020, (43%) employers preferred male over female candidates (23%).
  • The agriculture and Manufacturing industry has a higher preference for female candidates (33-34% each) than for male candidates (29%) and 28% respectively. 35% of the Services Industry has no such preference.
  • Male candidates are preferred in cities like Indore (56%), Bengaluru (23%), Lucknow (42%). Delhi (29%) and Kolkata(45%) are more female-centric. However, Mumbai (43%) and Hyderabad (45%) emerge as leaders with no gender preference.
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