PARTICIPANTS IN the Israel Tech Challenge work during the 36-hour hackathon in Tel Aviv this week.
(photo credit: ISRAEL TECH CHALLENGE)
The government on Sunday approved a proposal intended to fill the country’s shortage of hi-tech workers through education and training.
“Israel’s hi-tech industry is suffering from a shortage of the skilled manpower needed to take their place in technological professions in the industry.
This shortage presents a great challenge for employment, and the narrowing of economic and social gaps in Israeli society,” said Economy Minister Arye Deri.
“We need to encourage young people to study scientific subjects and specialize in technological fields, and to include more target populations from among the Arabs and ultra-Orthodox in advanced industry,” he added.
Michal Tzuk, director of employment regulation at the Economy Ministry, added that the shortage of high-skilled workers for hi-tech was causing a problem in the country’s most important sector. There are only 6,600 skilled graduates qualified to fill the 7,000 new positions added each year in the field.
The proposal creates professional teams at the Finance and Economy ministries focused on programs to give Israelis hi-tech skills, empower the Education Ministry to set targets and programs to increase the number of students who pass hi-tech relevant matriculation exams.
“The difficulty experienced by the technology companies in finding expert employees in science, engineering and computers, has a direct effect on the economy’s ability to export goods and services in the technological industries,” said Economy Ministry Director- General Amit Lang.
The program will put particular focus on integrating minorities, who often have even less access to the hightech sector, as well as older workers who may lack the latest skills.