Female Apprenticeship Enrollment Soars by 20X, Transforming Manufacturing & Services Sectors, Propelling Diversity Forward

20, March 2024, Bangalore: TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship unveils data showcasing a surge in female apprenticeship across the Manufacturing & Services sectors. This significant milestone marks a monumental shift towards gender inclusivity. Over the past 5 years, our data sources reveal a remarkable 20X increase in the enrollment of female apprentices within these sectors. This upward trend signifies a transformative journey towards empowering women and fostering gender diversity in the workforce.

This surge in female apprenticeship enrollment not only reflects the growing momentum toward gender equality but also signifies a paradigm shift in the roles women are undertaking. From traditional male-dominated manufacturing shop floor roles to Future of Work profiles involving AI, ML, and Data sciences, women apprentices are being deployed to catapult organizational productivity and foster a positive work culture.

The Government of India’s vision of making Nari Shakti an equal and integral part of India’s development journey is evident in the NEP 2020 and National Skill Development Policy. Apprenticeships and work-based learning programs have emerged as critical pathways for women’s empowerment, aligning with these visionary policies.

To further enhance participation and support women in their apprenticeship journeys, initiatives such as increased seats exclusively for females, more female trainers, flexible training schedules, digital platforms for connecting skilled women with employers, and community outreach programs are being implemented.

According to the data:

● In the Manufacturing sector, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship has witnessed a remarkable 5X increase in demand for female apprentices in the past 8-10 months.

● Within the Services sector, female apprenticeship participation has surged by 33% year over year in the last two years, especially among GCC, BFSI, and Retail and logistics industries. It is expected to witness a 70% year-over-year increase in the next three years, indicating a growing recognition of the importance of gender diversity in fostering innovation and creativity.

AR Ramesh, CEO of TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, underscores the significance of fostering female participation in apprenticeships, stating, “While women now constitute 21% of apprentices, there’s still room for growth. Higher degree-embedded programs, like Degree Apprenticeships, can accelerate women’s participation, especially from rural and socio-economic backgrounds. Organizations must create a pipeline of women’s talent via entry-level hiring combined with learning to address DE&I goals. With the recent PLFS Report indicating that women participation reached an all-time high of 37% in 2022-23, the active participation of women in non-farm labor could boost India’s economy by 9-10% annually.”

“Driven by a remarkable 5X increase in demand for female apprentices over the last 8-10 months, we anticipate the representation of women apprentices to reach 40% by year-end. This surge underscores the industry’s commitment to inclusive work environments, propelled by efforts across emerging segments like EV, Electronics, and Technology Products and traditional sectors such as Auto, Auto Components, and Engineering. Moreover, while gender-specific budget allocations are missing from several schemes, the training programs in place have unique initiatives geared towards women and incentives designed to stimulate their involvement in the skill ecosystem. Additionally, the budget for women’s training through the National Skill Training Institutes has substantially increased from around 64 cores in 2022–2023 to approximately 68 crores in 2023-24, highlighting skill development growth. Notably about 70% of women under apprenticeships in manufacturing are from rural and semi-urban areas. The Government of India’s Skill India Mission, including the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship’s Vocational Training Program for women, plays a pivotal role in facilitating this transition. – Sumit Kumar, Chief Strategy Officer, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship.

Dhriti Prasanna Mahanta, Vice President and Business Head of TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship highlights, “In recent decades, IT & Retail have been significant employers for women, with females constituting nearly 36% & 35% of the workforce respectively. GCC, BFSI, and Retail & Logistics industries have witnessed a 33% YOY surge in female apprenticeship hiring and are expected to witness a 70% YOY increase in the next 3 years. However, sectors such as Tourism & Hospitality, Logistics, and Telecom are projected to face significant skill gaps in the next three years—24 million, 10 million, and 5.3 million respectively. Formalization and skill development through higher education embedded work-based programs will be crucial to bridging this gap and meeting productivity expectations, given the current unsustainable gender participation ratio.”

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