Around 45 per cent of employers in India are keen on hiring apprentices in the current half of the year (July to December) to reduce the skill gap and offset the workforce scarcity due to the pandemic, according to a survey report.
According to the 'Apprenticeship Outlook Report for H2 2021' by the National Employability through Apprenticeship Program from TeamLease Skills University, around 45 per cent of the employers surveyed are keen on hiring apprentices from July to December, which indicates a four per cent increase in the intent compared to the January-June period.
The report also revealed that about 64 per cent of employers are keen to further increase their current apprentice intake, which is six per cent more as compared to January-June 2021.
The Apprenticeship Outlook Report is based on a survey conducted across 14 cities and 18 leading sectors among 833 companies.
"This year (2021) has been rewarding for apprentices despite the economic concerns caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The positivity in the ecosystem that we saw in the first half of the year, with 41 per cent employers keen on hiring apprentices, continues in H2 as well," TeamLease Skill University Vice-President (NETAP) Sumit Kumar said.
This overall vigour in the ecosystem hints at the fact that more employers are realising the potential of apprenticeships, he noted.
"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 the 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, channelised them towards formal employment, and enhanced their employability and livelihood," he said.
The report also showed that out of the 18 sectors analysed in the report, 17 sectors have shown has a positive net apprenticeship outlook (NAO).
Manufacturing and engineering (68 per cent), retail (58 per cent) and automobile and ancillaries (58 per cent) are the top sectors hiring apprentices.
The report said 'manufacturing and engineering' is also one of the categories that has recorded the strongest a 13 per cent growth as compared with the previous half-year period.
From a city perspective, the report found that 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.
Lucknow (79 per cent) and Ahmedabad (69 per cent) seem to be faring better than the metros, it said.
Among the metros, Chennai (65 per cent) and Delhi (58 per cent) are the most promising locations for apprentices, it added.
The main reason for the positive uptick for apprenticeship is to reduce the skill gap (30 per cent), to offset the workforce scarcity due to the pandemic (29 per cent) and to make recruitment more cost-efficient (26 per cent), it stated.
When it came to gender preference, employers have expressed preference (36 per cent) for males and (32 per cent) for women candidates in July-December 2021, compared to males (43 per cent) and women (23 per cent) during July-December 2020, it said.
Agriculture and manufacturing industries have a higher preference for women (33-34 per cent each) than for men candidates (29 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively), it said.
Men are preferred in cities like Indore (56 per cent), Bengaluru (23 per cent), Lucknow (42 per cent), the report stated.
Delhi (29 per cent) and Kolkata (45 per cent) are more tilted towards women workers. However, Mumbai (43 per cent) and Hyderabad (45 per cent) have emerged as leaders with no gender preference, the report added.