10 million apprentices in 10 years: An achievable reality
TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, a leading conglomerate revolutionizing
employability in India, and the JustJobs Network, a leading labour market research organization, today
launch a one of a kind detailed ‘India Employability Report’. The report ‘Reimagining Employability for
the 21st-century – 10 Million Apprentices in 10 Years’, is a detailed deep dive into the overall
employability ecosystem in India, analyzing the gaps in education and skilling and highlighting a 12-point
agenda for India to scale its apprenticeships.
Setting up the premise, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship & JustJobs Network’s analysis reiterates that
Indian youth do not have proper exposure to the world of work when they are learning. Their education
and skills are not adequately aligned with what industry requires. Moreover, as the world of work is
changing, more employers are keen to hire candidates with the some prior work experience. In this
context, apprenticeships have played a crucial role in bridging this gap, transforming the country’s skills
pedagogy, enhancing youth employability, and enabling candidates to find right opportunities and
assisting organizations to access apprentices.
Sharing her views, Ms Rituparna Chakraborty, Co-Founder & Executive Director, TeamLease Services,
said, “India has the largest heterogeneous youth cohort of 371 million, with close to 3.5% youth joining
the workforce every year. We are also a country with rising unemployment and underemployment
concerns. Unemployment rate in India went from 2.3% in 2009 to 5.8% in 2018 and youth unemployment
rate is at 12.9%. Incidentally, from those who are unemployed, 16% are graduate degree holders and
over 14% are post graduate degree students. All of this indicates a significant mismatch between what
the world of work needs and what our youth knows. Providing quality education, training and
employment to our massive youth cohort is an adventurous task. Furthermore, with social economic
challenges of the candidates coupled with an education system which is more focused on the supply
front over learning outcomes, the journey becomes even more challenging. Apprenticeships have
emerged as an enterprising and promising solution which is truly augmenting the employability
landscape in India. However with our current base of mere 500,000 apprentices, we have barely reached
our true potential”.
“There is a widening chasm between education, training, and employment in India. Despite the complex
web of government schemes and non-profit, for-profit, and public institutions that provide training, the
incidence of formal training remains low at less than 4%. The supply-side focus of training does not align
with the demands of the job market. Our large and growing youth population needs good jobs to harness
their productive potential, but businesses also need a workforce that is equipped to meet the growing
and changing demands of markets. Apprenticeships can help bridge these gaps, resulting in better
outcomes for youth, but also good return on investment for employers by significantly reducing the cost
of hiring, imparting need-based skills, and expanding the pool of potential hires”, added Ms Sabina
Dewan, President & Executive Director, JustJobs Network.
The report further states that to arrest the persisting challenges of youth unemployment and
underemployment, scaling the apprentices pool is the need of the hour. To reimagine employability in
the post 21 st century era, and to scale apprenticeships, a 12-point reform agenda, based on five design
principles that will enable – (1) Learning while earning, (2) Learning by doing, (3) Learning with flexibility,
(4) Learning with modularity, and (5) Learning with signalling value, is required.
India currently has only 500,000 apprentices, which constitutes 0.11% of the pool of apprentices
worldwide. With these reforms, we will not only ramp up our apprenticeship adoption, but we will also
be get closer to what is already happening in Europe, China, Japan – countries that have pioneered
apprenticeships over the decade.
12 point recommendations for 10 million apprentices in 10 years:
All training should eventually be employer-led, as through apprenticeships. This must be an
incremental process beginning with degree-linked apprenticeships
The governance architecture of apprenticeships must be streamlined
Mandate that universities, colleges, stand-alone institutions should make provisions for an
Apprenticeships should be a tripartite agreement between the university, the apprentice, and
the industry partner. Associated changes should be made to reflect this in UGC regulations as
well as the Apprenticeship Act.
Create a single portal for both National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS) and National
Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) for all designated and optional trades
Embrace properly vetted Third Party Aggregators (TPAs) to serve as intermediaries between
employers, potential apprentices, and government.
Adopt uniform stipend structures and government reimbursement across Ministry of Education
(MoE), Directorate General of Training (DGT) and National Skill Development Corporation
Afford the same health and safety protections for apprentices as regular workers. Employer
liability for compensation of injury to apprentices should be the same as for regular workers.
Build government capacity and Institute awareness campaigns at the Central and State levels as
well as in companies.
Expand and prioritize Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) certification and design processes by
which employers or Third Party Aggregators (TPAs) can apply for RPL certification on behalf of
Ensure that Sector Skill Councils have state representatives.
Focus on enabling apprenticeships among smaller companies.
Ultimately, when it comes to education and skills training, the perceived value matters. To individuals
and parents, whether they can leverage the education and training to find gainful employment matters.
For employers, a productive workforce is key. For governments, building human capital for
development and growth is important. All stand to gain with a well-functioning education and skills
system; all stand to lose if the shortcomings are left unaddressed.
About TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship: TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship is India’s first and largest
Degree Apprenticeship Programme offered through a public private partnership with the TeamLease
Skills University (TLSU), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, CII
and NSDC. The company has hired about 600,000 apprentices with more than 1000 employers. About
98% of these apprentices have transitioned into formal employment and almost 40% have been
employed in the same organization. Through its Degree Apprenticeship Program, TeamLease focuses on
enhancing the employability quotient of the youth of our country and bridge the skill deficit. TeamLease
Skills University (TLSU) is India’s first vocational skills university as well as India’s first NAAC certified
University that offers employment-oriented multi-level programs.
About the JustJobs Network (JJN): JustJobs Network (JJN) is an applied research institute finding
evidence-based solutions to one of the most pressing challenges of our time: How to create more and
better jobs and improve the employability of India’s large and growing population. JJN produces
research on good job creation and workforce development, focusing on the critical knowledge gaps in
the employment landscape. JJN convenes a network of diverse stakeholders — including policy shapers,
private sector players, academics, and grassroots leaders — to deepen the practical implications of its
research and amplify its impact. Through the combination of cutting-edge research and global
knowledge sharing, JJN aims to forge a fresh, dynamic channel for policy dialogue and instigate practical
change to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for more people. Our team members are
based in New Delhi and Washington, D.C.
About TeamLease Services: TeamLease Services is one of India’s leading human resource companies
offering a range of solutions to 3500+ employers for their hiring, productivity and scale challenges. A
Fortune India 500 company listed on the NSE & BSE, TeamLease has hired 18 lakhs+ people over the last
20 years and has 2 lakhs+ open jobs every day. One of India’s fastest growing employers, TeamLease
also operates India’s first Vocational University and India’s fastest growing PPP Degree Apprenticeship
(DA) programme. The Company offers solutions to large, medium and small clients across the 3Es of
employment (2 lakhs+ employees), employability (5 lakhs+ students) and E-workforce (1000+