‘Israelis don't want to work in construction'

Reaction comes in response to gov't plan to reduce number of foreign construction workers and BOI’s opposition to granting more work visas.

By GLOBES CORRESPONDENTS
April 12, 2011 22:43
1 minute read.
Construction

Construction. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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“The Treasury doesn’t get it – Israelis don’t want to work in construction,” Danya Cebus Ltd. CEO Ronen Ginzburg said Monday in response to a government plan to reduce the number of foreign construction workers and the Bank of Israel’s opposition to granting more work visas for them.

“Danya Cebus is building more than 60 large projects simultaneously in Israel, employing thousands of construction workers,” he said. “We do everything we can to hire Israelis for the construction industry, and we even offer great terms of a training course, but fewer than 20 people registered.”

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Due to the government’s decision, the shortage of construction workers is worsening and many projects are being delayed, Ginzburg said. The inevitable result, belying all government declarations to the contrary, is a steady rise in home prices, he said.

In an effort to address the problem, Danya Cebus, Israel’s largest contractor and the contracting arm of Lev Leviev-controlled Africa- Israel Investments Ltd., opened a course for crane operators as part of an Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry plan to support the construction industry. The four-month crane operator’s course includes 320 hours of classes and 240 hours of practical training at Danya Cebus construction sites.

The course costs NIS 7,330 per trainee, of which the ministry is financing 75 percent. Course graduates will receive a crane-operator certificate and a highly paid profession that is in demand. Danya Cebus guaranteed jobs for the graduates and paid the students NIS 5,000 each to participate, but only 16 people registered.

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