Recruitment of Railway Apprentices

The Indian Railways conducts recruitment for training of Apprentices' under Apprentices Act 1961 in certain designated trades. The Government of India has enacted the Act to regulate and control the training of apprentices. The selected apprentices are engaged by the Railways in the workshops of the Electrification Projects, Carriage and Wagon Depot, Diesel and Electric Loco Sheds, Production Units and Mechanical, Civil and S&T Engineering Departments.


The duration of Apprentices' Training for Engineers with a Degree or a diploma is one year. Whereas, for Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) passed candidates, the duration of training is regulated according to the duration of training received in the designated trades.

Apprentices Categories

It consist of three categories of apprentices.
  • Trade apprentices - either fresh candidates or ITI qualified candidates.
  • Technician apprentices (Candidates who are Diploma Holders)
  • Graduate Engineer apprentices.

Conduct and Discipline of the Apprentices

  1. The Apprentices will be governed by the Railway Servants Conduct Rules and Railway Services (D&A) Rules in force.
  2. The employer shall report to the Apprenticeship Adviser in case the work and conduct of the Apprentice is not satisfactory. The payment of stipend to the Apprentices may even be stopped with the adviser’s consent.
  3. The provisions of any law with respect to labor will not be applicable to the Apprentices. 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.
  4. The entire training programme under the Apprentices' Act, 1961 is governed by the provisions of the Apprenticeship Contract between the employer and the apprentice.

Eligibility Criteria for the Selection of Apprentices

Age for engagement of Act Apprentices for training on Railways
  • The age of the ITI candidates should be between 15-24 years of age.
  • The age of the non-ITI candidates should be between 15 - 22 years of age.
However, there is a relaxation of 5 years and 3 years for candidates belonging to SCs/STs and OBC categories respectively.

Physical Fitness
Selected candidates will have to conform to the standards of physical fitness, as prescribed for appointment to the relevant trades on the Railways.

Selection Process of Apprentices

The engagement of Act Apprentices will be done from the following sources:
  1. Nearest Employment Exchanges.
  2. SC/ST organizations.
  3. ITIs wherever existing.
  4. Wards of Railway employees.

Selection Mode of the Apprentices

The selection notice is published through local newspapers and  displayed in notice Boards of the respective workshops.

Note: Engineers who have done a degree or a diploma course and have received a training or job experience of minimum one year are not eligible for the training under the Apprentices' Act, 1961.

Schedules of Apprentices engagement

Engagement of Act Apprentices are done twice a year, i.e. February/March and September/October to enable them to appear in the 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%
  • Physically handicapped candidates: 3%
  • Children of Ex-servicemen/ Serving Jawans/Serving Officers and for Ex-servicemen: 3%
Note: The Vacancies in ST category can be filled by SC candidates or vice-versa and the remaining to be allotted to General candidates. The unfilled OBC seats can also be filled by unreserved category,

Hours of Work of the Apprentices

Weekly hours of work of trainee apprentices are as follows:
  1. Total number of hours per week should be 42 to 48 hours per week (it includes the time spent on imparting related instructions).
  2. Trade apprentices undergoing basic training: 42 hours per week including the time spent on imparting related instructions.
  3. During the second year of apprenticeship, the trade apprentices are required to work for 42 to 45 hours per week including the time spent on imparting related instructions.
  4. During the third and subsequent years, the trade apprentices are required to work for the same number of hours per week as the workers in the trade in the establishment in which they are undergoing training.
  5. The Graduate Engineers and Technician Apprentices need to work as per the timing of the department to which they are attached for training.
  6. The apprentice will be given holidays as per it is observed in the establishment(s) in which they are undergoing training.

Training of the Apprentices

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.

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