"I am happy that the amendment to Apprentices Act has been done in Lok Sabha. Under the earlier system, the total number of apprentice seats in the country was 4.98 lakhs. Out of that, only 2 lakhs could be utilized.
"But now after opening up of the Act and once it is passed in Rajya Sabha, the number of apprentices seats will go up to 23 lakhs," Tomar said while addressing the national consultation on Industry Career Centre ITI collaboration.
Lok Sabha on August 14 had passed Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, 2014 which provides for apprenticeship to non-engineering graduates and diploma holders besides others to expand the base of skilled workers in the country.
"These 23 lakh apprentices are in the states. Therefore, it is our responsibility that in each of our states, proper training is given on all of them, to ensure this, it is the accountability of the states," the Minister said.
Tomar said this can be achieved only through collective efforts of various departments like industry, labour and employment and others at the state level.
He said the Central Government has given "priority" to skill development and in the future more than three crore skilled work force will be required in the country.
"If this requirement is not fulfilled by both Centre and State Governments, then a big gap will emerge which will be an obstruction for the development of the country. Therefore, the centre has kept skill development in its priority," he said.
Tomar said his ministry after taking the views of States, employers, trade unions and others has introduced three bills for amendment in the first session of the Parliament since the NDA government took over three months ago.
He said that while the Apprentices (amendment) Bill 2014 has been passed in the Lok Sabha, Factories' Act, 1948 and the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Act, 1988 is under consideration in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and will be passed in the next session.
Tomar said that the centre is "completely committed" to remove all difficulties faced by the states regarding different issues.

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