Apprentice Act, 1961

  • Purpose of the Apprentices Act, 1961: The main purpose of the Act is to provide practical training to technically qualified persons in various trades. The objective is promotion of new skilled manpower. The scheme is also extended to engineers and diploma holders.
  • An apprenticeship is a program that trains a worker to become skilled in a particular trade. Apprenticeships combine hands-on work with classroom learning to train the apprentice. Apprenticeships are considered full-time employment. As the apprentice is learning, they are also applying the lessons through working.
  • Apprenticeships are structured training programmes which give you a chance to work (literally) towards a qualification. They help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in your chosen industry. Getting into employment earlier means there’s lots of potential for you to progress in your career quickly.

The scheme is applicable to engineering, non-engineering, technology or any vocational course.

The employer is required to pay minimum stipend to apprentice. In some cases, burden of part of stipend is borne by Government.

  1. Basic Training
  2. On the job training or Shop floor Training.
  3. Related Instructions



The employer shall provide the apprentice with the training in the trade in accordance with the provisions of the Apprentices Act and the Rules made thereunder and in terms of the contract of Apprenticeship.

If he is not himself qualified in the trade, he shall ensure that a duly qualified is placed in charge of the training of Apprentices. He shall look after the health, safety and welfare of Apprentices.

If personal injury is caused to an apprentice by an accident arising out of in course of his training as an apprentices, his employer shall be liable to pay compensation in accordance with the provisions of the workman’s compensation Act.

An employer shall pay stipend to every apprentice during the entire period of apprenticeship training. The minimum rates of stipend are as follows :-

Year Minimum Rate of Stipend
First Year 70% of minimum wage of semi-skilled workers notified by the respective State or Union territory.
Second Year 80% of minimum wage of semi-skilled workers notified by the respective State or Union territory.
Third & Fourth Year 90% of minimum wage of semi-skilled workers notified by the respective State or Union territory.



The weekly and daily hours of work of an apprenticeship shall not exceed the following:-

Daily: Not more than 8 hours (includes the time spent on related instructions).

Weekly : Total number of hours per week shall be 42 to 48 (including the time spent on related instructions.)

Trade apprentices during the third & subsequent years of apprenticeship shall work for the same number of hours per week as the workers in the trade in the establishment in which the trade apprentice is undergoing apprenticeship training.

No apprentice shall be engaged on training between the hours of 10 P.M and 6 A.M. or required to work overtime except with the prior approval of the Apprenticeship Advisor.

An apprentice shall be entitled to have casual,/medical and extra-ordinary leave as per leave rules of the establishment. If no proper leave rules exists in the establishment the apprentice shall be entitled to total 37 days leave of different types i.e. casual 12 days, medical 15 days & extra-ordinary 10 days. Grant of such leave shall be subject to the following conditions :-

  1. That every apprentice engaged in an establishment which works for 5 days in a week(with a total of 45 hours per week) shall put in minimum attendance of 200 days in a year out of which one sixth namely 33 days shall be devoted to related instructions and 167 days to practical training.
  2. That every apprentice engaged in an establishment which works for 5 1/2 days or 6 days in a week shall put in minimum attendance of 240 days in a year out of which one sixth namely 40 days shall be devoted to related instructions and 200 days to practical training.

In case an apprentice could not put in minimum period of attendance or could not complete his essential part of training for circumstances beyond his control, his period of training could be extended for a period of up to six months under Apprenticeship Act rule 5(2). Employer has to continue to pay the stipend for the extended period of training.

Employer can pay any higher rates of stipend to attract better candidates . Apprentices shall not receive any Bonus or incentive money. Hostel accommodation if available may be provided to the Apprentices but this not obligatory under the Act.


Employer is required to enter into Apprenticeship Contract with Apprentice. The contract is required to be registered with Apprenticeship Adviser.

The employer is liable for compensation in case of injury to the Apprentice, as per provisions of Employee’s Compensation Act.

Labour laws like ESI, PF, Minimum Wages Act, Industrial Disputes Act etc. are not applicable to the apprentices. However, health, safety and welfare regulations as contained in Factories Act, Mines Act etc. Are applicable in respect of apprentices also.

The employer is not bound to offer employment to the trainees  after their training period is over, but can have its own policy for recruiting apprentices who have completed the apprenticeship training. It is not mandatory to offer employment to the apprentices after training.

Central Government shall be ‘Appropriate Government’ for 

a) Establishments which are operating business or trade from locations situated in four or more States

b) Establishments owned, controlled or managed by Central Government

c) Public Sector Companies owned by Central Government.

In other cases, State Government will be the ‘Appropriate Government’.


The major amendments are as follows:

  • Non-engineering areas covered under the provisions of Apprentices Act.
  • Employer allowed to provide for ‘optional trades’. He can design his own syllabus for that purpose.
  • Multiple employers can join either themselves or through an agency to provide apprentices training.
  • Hours of work and leave will be as per the discretion or policy of the employer.
  • If employer is employing 500 or more workers, he is required to make provisions of basic training to those who had not undergone any institutional training. In other cases, the basic training will be provided by institution having adequate facilities.
  • Punishment for offenses will be fine (no imprisonment).

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