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Through NETAP we want to bridge the gap between education and employment

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TeamLease, one of India’s leading human resource service companies, is a part of NETAP, an apprenticeship programme in a Public Private Partnership endeavour initiated along with CII and NSDC under the National Employability Enhancement Mission of the Ministry of HRD (AICTE). Sumit Kumar, Vice President, NETAP, TeamLease Services, elaborates on the need to create talent to support Ayushman Bharat, role of apprentices in bringing more efficiencies to any organisation, and how apprenticeships has picked up in both pharma and healthcare, in an exclusive tete-a-tete with Lakshmipriya Nair

TeamLease is one of the partners in the National Employability through Apprenticeship (NETAP). Tell us more about it and the impact it intends to create?

NETAP is an apprenticeship program offered by TeamLease Skills University based on National Employability Enhancement Mission (NEEM) guidelines notified by Ministry of HRD. Vision of NETAP is to bridge the skill deficit in industry by enhancing the employability quotient of the youth through apprenticeships. There is a skill shortage of 127 million in the industry, and what better way to overcome than through apprenticeships which is a tried and tested model by evolved economies of the world. The impact we want to achieve through NETAP is to bridge the gap between education and employment; and make learning more effective and impactful that makes the output job-ready. We do this through blended form of learning where on the job training is the core that gets blended with either an online learning or an onsite classroom learning mechanism or both. The output is far more productive and the employers have a better ROI against buying talent.

What are the major benefits of the apprenticeship model for the life sciences sector? How is it a good model for up-skilling and recruitment of new talent?

Following are the benefits of apprenticeship for the life sciences sector;

  1. To create pipeline of future potential employees
  2. Create talent which is relevant for the organisation and for the industry
  3. Prepare talent to match the changing dynamics of the world of work

To get the right talent is a challenge faced by employers and buying is an expensive proposition. Through apprenticeships, trainees are exposed to real work which helps them build cognitive skills apart from getting domain knowledge. Also, employers are able to gauge the efficacy of candidates and induct the best into the system. Hence, it becomes an efficient evaluation mechanism.

How will the apprenticeship model gain more significance in the backdrop of Ayushman Bharat?

Ayushman Bharat is about scale, addressing half a billion population who cannot afford medical treatment. This would lead to creation of medial infrastructure to avail insurance facility. Hence, it would need skilled medical people to diagnose and provide medical treatment. Also, creation of medial infrastructure would need skilled manpower. Apprenticeships would be a better way to skill people to cater to the demand arising out of the program.

How can apprenticeship programme`s serve to bridge the gap between the industry and the academia and enhance the pool of industry-ready human resources?

About 5 million people graduate every year with employability that is under question mark. As per occupational standards, 90 per cent of kids lack skills. Apprenticeships help them acquire these skills through on the job exposure. They may be qualified but apprenticeships make them capable to be employed.

Tell us about some of the partnerships you have in the life sciences sector. Can you share the results of these partnerships?

We work with many large and medium pharma organisations that engage apprenticeships under NETAP and engage with trainees at various job roles. While most of them are in back end process of manufacturing, few are deployed under R&D function. Not many organisations deploy apprentices under this role, but I would say the trend has started and will catch up. Our programme has been running for about four years, and it’s heartening to see the outcome. The intake on apprentices has risen by 60 per cent over last year and number of organisations in the sector has doubled. About 30-40 per cent of these trainees are being absorbed by these employers and offered a wage premium ranging between 40-45 per cent.

How will these programmes generate more employment and lay the foundations for future workforce?

An apprenticeship paves way for formal employment by creating a consistent pipeline of talent that gets channelised towards formal employment. Employers tend to engage with informal labour which falls under grey zone and are quite unproductive or under productive. Through apprenticeships, the deployment is compliant and process of training is structured which ultimately enhances the productivity of the organisation.

NAPS under the Apprentices ACT, encourages SMEs to engage with formal apprentices instead of casual workforce and get a subsidy from Govt. By doing this more work forces gets channelised towards formal employment.

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