Apprentices Act: An Overview

The National Apprenticeship Act was initially introduced in 1959 on a voluntary basis. The Apprentices Act of 1961 was passed by Parliament in 1961 and went into effect on January 1, 1963. Ultimately, the statute was modified in 1973 and 1986. The Act's initial intent was to train apprentices in trades. The Central Apprenticeship Adviser/Director of Apprenticeship Training in the DGE&T, Ministry of Labour and Employment, is responsible for overseeing the administration of the Apprentices Act, 1961, in relation to Trade Apprentices within the Central Government and Departments with the assistance of six Regional Directorates of Apprenticeship Training (RDATs).

What is the Meaning of Apprentices Under the Act?

An apprentice is a person who enrolls in training programs run by businesses to learn the skills and trades associated with a particular specialty. According to the Apprenticeship Act, an apprentice is a person who participates in an apprenticeship program and receives practical instruction over a certain period of time. The essential requirements for receiving an apprenticeship are that the applicant be at least 14 years old and, for trades where safety concerns are present, that the applicant be at least 18 years old. For unique trades and special groups of apprentices, additional requirements may be required in addition to those listed above.

An apprenticeship agreement is used to impose the terms and circumstances of an apprenticeship. An apprentice and a business firm engage in the agreement. If a recruited apprentice is a minor, his or her parents may immediately enter into a settlement agreement with the business.

The parties should work together to get an understanding of the terms and conditions specified in the agreement or contract. In any case, the provisions of this Act do not allow for the deletion or modification of such clauses and conditions.

Objective of the Act

The primary goal of the Apprentices Act of 1961 is to satisfy the growing need for skilled craftsmen. The Apprentice Act's main goal is to provide experimental training to those who are skilled in their trades. Candidates with a diploma and engineering degrees can both take advantage of this program. According to a statement from the central government, the act's provisions apply to all fields of endeavor. The government is expected to make use of the facilities, rooms, and resources available for the training of apprentices and to make sure that their preparation is in line with a research program. Different questions began to surface between corporations and students in order to recover from them as industries advanced steadily. This Act should oversee and monitor how pupils are prepared for exchanges and any associated difficulties.

It has the following objectives:

  • To control and advance the program for training apprentices in the sector; and

  • To make use of the resources offered by industry for providing hands-on training in an effort to fulfill the need for skilled labor in industry.

Scheme of the Act

In general there are 38 Sections and the schedule relates to the modifications made to the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1923 in order to make it applicable to apprentices under the 1961 Apprentices Act.

Section 1 - Section 2Chapter IPreliminary
Section 3 – Section 22 Chapter IIApprentices And Their Training
Section 23 – Section 38Chapter IIIAuthorities

Applicability of the Act

The Apprentice Act of 1961 states that it is applicable to the businesses and professions that the Central Government has specified in the Official Gazette. These specific circulars may be followed by the application date. Almost all industries are covered by the act's jurisdiction. Additionally, unless and until the Central Government makes a declaration in the Official Gazette, the Special Apprenticeship Programs of the Government may not be covered by the Apprentice Act. To dispel any confusion, this legislation is applicable to those types of apprenticeship where a practical education is required for the trade. This statute does not apply to "internships."

Amendments made to the Apprentices Act in 2014

In December 2014, significant changes were made to the Apprentices Act. The President signed the Amendment Act on May 12, 2014.

The amendments are:


The Apprenticeship Act aids in the resolution of disagreements between the apprentice and the employer, and the Apprenticeship Advisor serves as the final arbiter. They should appeal to the committee that the council constituted. If the employer does not follow the act's provisions, he will be punished. The Apprentice Act of 1961 may be regarded as a comprehensive statute that protects both the employer's and the apprentice's rights. To protect the rights of the apprentice and resolve the issues they encountered throughout their training, the Apprentice Act can be put into action.


Q1. Who does implement the Apprenticeship Program (including NAPS)?

Ans. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), at the national level, implements the Apprenticeship Program in India under the terms of the Apprenticeship Act 1961. The National Skill Development Corporation has been given responsibility for implementing apprenticeship training for "Designated Trades" by the MSDE, while the Directorate General of Instruction is in charge of "Optional Trades" training.

Q2. What is a Designated Trade?

Ans. Trades that have been designated as such by the government are known as designated trades. The manufacturing industry would benefit from these, which are primarily engineering-based. The Central Staff Training and Research Institute (CSTARI), the Central Apprenticeship Council, and the Government have all authorized and designated the courses under Designated Trades as such.

Q3. Who is an Apprentice?

Ans. According to the Apprentices Act, an apprentice is a person who has signed an apprenticeship contract with their employer in order to receive training as an apprentice.

Q4. Who are eligible to be apprentices under the Act?

Ans. Anyone who has attained the age of 14 (or 18 in the case of hazardous industries as defined by the Apprenticeship Rules), has earned at least a fifth-class pass (for an optional trade), is physically fit for the course, and meets the minimum educational requirements for a trade is eligible to enroll in apprenticeship training.

Updated on: 27-Jan-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started