Job-seekers will now have an additional outlet to search for employment, with the introduction of a Web site by the Israel Employment Services (IES) on Tuesday.
The site, http://www.taasuka.gov.il, will be a meeting place for potential employees and employers and will also feature job-hunting advice, a question and answer forum with employment experts and soon will be equipped to send automatic job openings via e-mail and SMS to those registered with the Web site.
According to research conducted by IES, approximately 73 percent of all job-seekers take advantage of the Internet when searching for employment, with the highest percentage of Web surfing job-seekers being adult males who, the IES reported, spend more time and effort on average using the Internet to search for and secure gainful employment.
"The inspiration for the Web site came out of repeated requests from both those looking for work and companies seeking employees," said Einat Halevy Levine, spokeswoman for the IES. "While we are not currently working with other employment agencies, we are definitely open to the possibility of cooperating with organizations such as Nefesh b'Nefesh, and all employment groups are able to and encouraged to contact us. Our most important job is to help people find employment."
The site, which will be updated on an hourly basis from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and will soon be operational in English and Arabic, will provide a basis for direct contact between employees and employers, no matter what sector the company operates in or what type of job is being sought, the IES said.
Additionally, the site will provide job-hunters with access to employment counselors and specialists who work with various demographic sectors, such as haredi and Arab.
Some of the benefits of the site will be the possibility for job-seekers to post their previous employment histories and resumes on the site confidentially, as well as to register for professional development and resume-writing courses for free, while benefits for employers include a personal registration portal that is industry-specific and tips for finding the right employees.
Separately, the Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday approved Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai's proposed changes to the controversial welfare-to-work program. The new plan, called "Lights to Employment," was constructed by Yishai and the "Dinur Commission," headed by the director-general of the Prime Minister's Office, Ra'anan Dinur.
The "Lights to Employment" plan will operate in the same four regions as earlier Wisconsin Plan, but it stipulates that participation is compulsory only for those aged 45 and younger. Those over 45 will no longer be forced to participate, but rather are free to seek employment assistance from the State Employment Service whether or not they are employed. The Wisconsin Plan had required its participants to be employed in order to be eligible for employment assistance.
Additionally, the new program specifically seeks to target and assist new immigrants, single mothers and those with specific job-skills.
Other changes to the plan's current make up include personal tracks for each participant to allow them to join the work force, financial bonuses to those who successfully find work and the establishment of a professional committee to oversee the plan during the next two years.
The new plan will now go to the Knesset plenum for second and third readings.
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