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LAHORE: Punjab becomes the 1st province to pass the Apprenticeship Act 2021 while replacing the Apprenticeship Ordinance 1962 after 60 Years to provide skilled youth with better economic opportunities and the industry with skilled labour according to their specifications.

The new act has made fundamental changes to the previous law from being applicable only to the Manufacturing Sector to now covering all sectors of the economy. The new law has also done away with time-consuming procedures for approvals related to Apprenticeship Programme Registration while the new law has also empowered provincial assessment bodies such as PBTE for examination on the footprint of CBT&A, an internationally recognized teaching and assessment system initiated by TEVTA Punjab in their institutes.

Chairperson Ali Salman Siddique has said that the Apprenticeship Act is a critical step towards realization of Our Vision 2023 which focuses on quality demand driven skills with economic opportunities for our trainees where they will not only be given technical and vocational education in our institutes but also on the job training in industry. This is in line with the Prime Minister vision of 10 million jobs. He was addressing a high level meeting at TEVTA Secretariat appreciating the role of the Apprenticeship Section for achieving a milestone for TEVTA Punjab.

He further said that unlike in the past where Apprenticeship Law was used as a tool against the industry, TEVTA through its New Skill Ecosystem has created a direct linkage with the industry through Sector Skill Councils and Public Private Partnerships to empower the industry in its decision making process. This new industry - TEVTA nexus will be further strengthened by empowering the private sector led Sector Skill Councils to regulate the Apprenticeship Act.

Chairperson further stressed the need for a major awareness drive to make businesses and organizations in Punjab aware of the benefits of apprenticeships for employers and vowed to constantly expand and convert all their 350 plus Vocational Institutes onto the Apprenticeship Model on the footprint of German and British Apprenticeship Model.

Independent Experts term Apprenticeship Act as a hallmark of this Government's tenure and an important step in the right direction for the skill sector. Speaking on the occasion, a renowned industrialist Rehan Barera said that apprenticeship is a fundamental step for the provision of jobs. This Act will also resolve industries problem for the requirement of Customized Skilled Manpower. "If we get Customized Skilled Manpower and can govern the process through Sector Skill Council it will resolve our issues and greatly help in economic growth of our country," he said.

Apprenticeship is a dual system for training a new generation of practitioners of trade or profession couple with on-the-job training at industry/companies & technical education in institutes. This system is widely used by the developed countries & TEVTAPunjab through its newly legislated Apprenticeship Act 2021 will follow the European Dual Track Training System to bridge the gap between industry and TEVTA. The act will provide youth with approximately 100,000 employment opportunities every year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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