- Indian Railways train apprentices under Apprentices Act, 1961 in certain designated trades.
- The Act was enacted by the Government to regulate and control the training of apprentices.
- Railways engage apprentices in the workshops of the Civil, Mechanical and S&T Engineering Departments, Production Units, Diesel and Electric Loco Sheds, Carriage and Wagon Depot and Electrification Projects.
There are three categories of apprentices.
- Trade apprentices - either fresh candidates or ITI qualified candidates.
- Technician apprentices (Diploma Holders).
- Graduate Engineer apprentices.
Engagement of Act Apprentices will be from the following sources:
- Nearest Employment Exchanges.
- SC/ST organizations.
- ITIs wherever existing.
- Wards of Railway employees.
- Selection notices will be displayed in notice Boards of respective workshops and will be announced through local newspapers.
- No graduate engineer or Diploma Holder who had received training or job experience for one year or more after taking the Degree/Diploma will be eligible for training under the Apprentice Act,1961.
Schedules of engagement
- Engagement of Act Apprentices should be done twice in a year, i.e. February/March and September/October to enable them to appear in All India Trade Test to be held in April/October respectively.
Reservations while engaging Act Apprentices
- SC Candidates : 15%
- ST Candidates : 7½%
- OBC Candidates : 27%
- 3% of seats are reserved for physically handicapped persons.
- 3% of seats are reserved for Children of Ex-servicemen/ Serving Jawans/Serving Officers and for Ex-servicemen
Note: Vacancies in SC can be filled by ST candidates or vice-versa and remaining to be allotted to General candidates. Seats unfilled by OBC candidates can also be filled by unreserved category.
Age for engagement of Act Apprentices for training on Railways
- ITI candidates should have completed 15 years of age and should not have completed 24 years of age.
- Non-ITI candidates should have completed 15 years of age and should not have completed 22 years of age.
- The upper age limit is relaxable by 5 years and 3 years in the cases of SCs/STs and OBCs respectively.
- Selected candidates will have to conform to the standards of physical fitness, as prescribed for appointment to the relevant trades on the Railways.
- Training consists of basic training followed by shop floor or practical training including a course of related instructions appropriate to the trade, throughout the period of training.
- In the case of Graduate Engineers and diploma holders the period of training is one year.
- For ITI passed candidates, the duration of training will be regulated according to the duration of training already undergone in the designated trades in the ITI.
Hours of Work
Weekly hours of work of trainee apprentices are as follows:
- Total number of hours per week should be 42 to 48 hours per week (including the time spent on imparting related instructions).
- Trade apprentices undergoing basic training will work for 42 hours per week including time spent on imparting related instructions.
- During the second year of apprenticeship, the trade apprentices will work for 42 to 45 hours per week including the time spent on imparting related instructions.
- During the third and subsequent years the trade apprentices will work for the same number of hours per week as the workers in the trade in the establishment in which they are undergoing training.
- Graduate Engineers and Technician Apprentices will work according to the normal hours of work of the department to which they are attached for training.
- Holidays will be admissible to the apprentice as observed in the establishment(s) in which they are undergoing training.
Conduct and Discipline
- While being engaged as apprentice trainee, the apprentices will be governed by the Railway Servants Conduct Rules and Railway Services (D&A) Rules in force.
- Where the work and conduct of the apprentice is not satisfactory, the employer shall report the matter to the Apprenticeship Adviser and with his consent, may stop the continuance of payment of stipend to the apprentices.
- The provisions of any law with respect to labour will not apply to them except where an apprentice is undergoing training in an establishment which is governed by the provisions of the Factories Act,1948, the relevant provisions of the said Act in relation to the Apprentice's health, safety and welfare will apply.
- The entire training programme under the Apprentice Act,61 is governed by the provisions of the Apprenticeship Contract between the employer and the apprentice.