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Apprenticeships Paving Way To Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a driver for socio-economic growth and apprenticeship complements the entire process. But not many apprentices turn out to be entrepreneurs or even aspire to be one. The reason is lack of exposure and relevant knowledge.

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Manoj is a 20-year-old service engineer for home appliances who runs his entrepreneurial venture through a service utility app. He makes about Rs 45000 a month through his venture and is a happy soul as he maintains a healthy work-life balance. But about a year back, his story was different. He was clueless about this life after completing his secondary education and was desperately looking job to meet his both ends meet. One of his acquaintances advised him to take up an apprenticeship in his workplace which was a leading home appliance organization based in outskirts of Gurgaon. Manoj enrolled himself for a two-year apprenticeship in servicing, underwent an on-the-job and soft skills training. Apprenticeship made him conceptually sound, gave him hands-on experience in a real work environment and also gave him exposure to ICT (Information, Communication & Technology). Post completing the apprenticeship, Manoj got absorbed in the same organization which fetched him a decent monthly earning, but his aspirations ‘to do business’ was making him restless till he discovered a service utility app to enroll himself and start his own venture. Ever since then, there is no looking back for him.

The story isn’t same for those 8 million kids who clear secondary education, only 5 million are able to take up higher education; and even the 5 million kids who are graduating from higher education not necessarily get formal employment, they are either underemployed or unemployed or self-employed.  Can apprenticeship make a difference in their lives? Yes. And that’s the difference between Manoj and the other self-employed who haven’t been through any formal training. It’s the formal apprenticeship under an expert that helps them attain finesse which makes the whole difference in their output.

While apprenticeship helps in building capabilities, these alone need not be sufficient for being an entrepreneur. Manoj, while undergoing his apprenticeship also had an exposure to technology which further gave him exposure to the internet. That led him to explore platforms which could fulfill his aspiration to run a business. Manoj was fortunate that his employer gave him this exposure which many apprentices are deprived of. But the relevance of technology cannot be ignored as it is not only prevalent in our daily lives but also enabling the world of work. Hence exposure to ICT becomes imperative as entrepreneurial aspirants must undergo some form of training in this domain to leverage technology to start and run their venture successfully. There are many online courses that are available on SWAYAM (self-learning platform from AICTE) and even MOOCs from other private education institutes that are available at no or nominal cost.  

Manoj aspires to go beyond self-employed and start his centre that would need capital investment, employing people and entrepreneurial expertise; which means he would need to have a formal training in entrepreneurship. While entrepreneurship is an art, one needs to understand the science to make it successful. Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship imparts entrepreneurial education to translate skill development into wealth creation. Entrepreneurship not only addresses the unemployment crises; it raises livelihood of the society and generates wealth which leads to an economic growth of the country.

Entrepreneurship is a driver for socio-economic growth and apprenticeship complements the entire process. But not many apprentices turn out to be entrepreneurs or even aspire to be one. The reason is lack of exposure and relevant knowledge. And hence, there is a need to create an ecosystem where many more budding entrepreneurs like Manoj can be born and turn their ventures into large businesses. This would need the involvement of educational institutions to create awareness, relevant curriculum and encourage entrepreneurship; and participation from industry to engage with an apprenticeship to create right skills the right way.  Apprenticeships are the way to be a successful entrepreneur.



Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house



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