Quess Corp, India’s leading business solutions provider, today published the ‘Apprentice Skill Trends Report’, offering insights into apprentice hiring trends by Indian IT employers. According to the report, there has been a 250%+ annual increase in apprentice headcount in the IT/ITES space. Moreover, about 79% of employers in IT/ITES industries foresee an increase in apprentice intake in the coming months.
The spike in hiring in the IT/ITES industry has been steadily growing month-on-month as the industry prioritizes apprenticeship engagement for its potential to lower the cost of its workforce, create a talented pool, and cultivate staff loyalty and retention.
Commenting on apprentice hiring trends in the last year, Girija S, Vice President, Quess Corp said, “The IT space in India has seen a drop in headcount and fresher intake due to global tensions. However, apprentice hiring has picked up substantially in the past year across the IT segment, with newer roles emerging that did not perhaps exist a year ago. This is a trend observed across both metro and Tier-2 cities, which is encouraging to see. Apprentice hiring in BFSI is also flourishing with the expansion of NBFCs. However, the scope for apprentice skilling and job creation in IT/BFSI sectors is unprecedented, and we expect the creation of approximately 5 million jobs by 2025.”
The report revealed that BFSI and IT/ITES were the top industries employing apprentices in the past year, considering the high return on investment (ROI) amidst ongoing uncertainties and global turmoil. Interestingly, 75% of apprentices engaged in BFSI and IT sectors complete training and are considered for full-time employment, ranking much higher when compared to other industries.
Top IT-Apprentice Roles
Within the industry, key roles that stand out with maximum demand from recruiters include IT Support, BPO Executive, Voice/Data Entry Operator, and Associate CRM. Roles such as Embedded systems engineer/ Design Engineer are also high in demand, along with DevOps Engineer, Data Engineer, and Blockchain Developers. Android/IOS Developers, AR VR Technicians, Cybersecurity Engineers, and Unity 3D Developers are a few additional roles that have seen significant traction from recruiters in 2023.
In the BFSI space, roles such as microfinance, credit procurement, debit recovery, and back-office executives are in high demand.
In 2023, cities that paved the way for apprentice hiring include Coimbatore, Hyderabad, and Pune. It is very encouraging to see a rise in apprenticeship adoption across Coimbatore, being a Tier-2 city. Other metros such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad saw a considerable spike in apprentice hiring. In terms of states, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Telangana top the apprenticeship engagement chart. On the other hand, cities such as Lucknow, Chandigarh, and Kolkata saw the least traction when it came to apprentice hiring.
Salary trends for Apprentices
Currently, more than 9 lakh youth who are apprentices are in the age group of 23-26 years. As per the Quess report, employers in the IT/ITES sector are likely to pay between 11k-75k to apprentices between the ages 20-24 years. However, the stipend pay for other sectors differs depending on educational qualifications.
Apprentice salary trends for non-IT sectors, as per Quess Corp
Educational Qualifications Age Stipend (In Rs.)
Degree Apprentices 20-24 years 10-20k
Diploma Apprentices 19-24 years 10-15k
Trade Apprentices 18-34 years 8-13k
Gender Preferences in Apprenticeship Hiring
In the current landscape of apprentice hiring, registration of women candidates has seen nearly a seven-fold increase in the last five years, from 22,427 in 2018-19 to 1.48 lakh in FY 2022-23. According to the Quess report, over half (51%) of employers have no gender preferences when it comes to apprentice hiring on an overall basis. However, employer preference of male vis-à-vis female candidates was skewed in 2023 (33% & 15% respectively) compared to the previous year (29% and 20% respectively).
City trends indicate that in Kochi, employers prefer females (30%) more than males (26%). However, male candidates are preferred most in Kolkata (44%) and Lucknow (39%).
Interestingly, 63% of the employers in Mumbai, 59% in Nagpur, and 56% Hyderabad have no specific gender preference in apprentice engagement.
This report is based on Quess Corp’s operations data, which maps demand and supply in the talent ecosystem for apprentice hiring. This report focuses on trends observed in the year 2023.