Shapira: Country needs to improve Arab sector employment

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May 24, 2016 23:36

The report notes there is still “a long way to go” and paints a grim picture of the employment situation of the Arab population and the gaps between various sectors.

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Bible Lands Museum

Preschool teachers from the city’s Arab sector take part in the Bible Lands Museum study day. (photo credit:Courtesy)

There are many state shortcomings in encouraging Israeli Arabs to integrate into the job market and large gaps remain, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira’s report, published on Tuesday, found.

“The principle of equality is the lifeblood of democracy in Israel, and the substantive battle for equality between different sectors of the population in general and among Jews and Arabs in particular is at its peak,” wrote Shapira in the introduction to the report.

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The report notes there is still “a long way to go” and paints a grim picture of the employment situation of the Arab population and the gaps between various sectors, he said.

Shapira also notes that Arabs suffer from ongoing discrimination and that Arab representation in ten major government companies is very low and sometimes non-existent.

The report recommends the state encourage Arab employment in the public sector and for the expansion of public transportation to Arab communities.

It also encouraged the Arab public to take advantage of day-care facilities.

“The government should prepare a long-term strategic plan regarding this issue,” it said.

The report concluded that the finds demonstrate the government’s “difficulties in implementation of the multi-annual and utilization of budgets, with no long-term strategic plan large gaps are unlikely to be reduced sufficiently.”

The cabinet approved the proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel to promote a comprehensive program of economic and structural development at the end of last year.

The size of the five-year plan is estimated at between NIS 10b.-15b., and would increase funding for housing, education, employment of Arab women, infrastructure, welfare services and public transport.

In addition, the report noted that the Employment Service does not provide an adequate response to the needs of job seekers from Arab society.

Even though Arabs make up one fifth of the country’s workers, their employment rate and income are less than the Jewish population.

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