(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Companies, factories and businesses in Sderot and the Gaza periphery that have employed over the past year, or are planning on hiring, Arab, disabled, ultra-Orthodox or single parents may be eligible for financial assistance with the employees’ salaries, the Investment Center at the Economy Ministry announced on Monday.
The workplaces must employ the target populations at a rate of at least 70 percent of their work force, lower than the 90% rate required for assistance in the rest of the country.
An establishment that meets the required percentage of employees from target populations can apply to the Investment Center for an average of up to 27.5% of the cost of wages for the employees from the target populations, for a period of 30-months employment and with a limit of NIS 16,000 monthly salary per employee.
The program is aimed at boosting employment rates for population sectors that are characterized by low participation in the workforce.
“Encouraging the employment of disadvantaged populations in general and from the periphery and national priority areas in particular, is essential to reducing social gaps in Israeli society and increasing economic growth,” said Economy Minister Arye Deri. “This program allows us to help people with disabilities, minorities and single parents and also ultra-Orthodox who are interested in it, and to help their employers to help them. This is good tidings for the business sector and industries that are crying out for workers and of course for the workers who can escape the cycle of unemployment, gain experience and a profession, earn a living with dignity, support and acquire for themselves economic independence.”
Details about eligibility can be found in the Director General Directive 4.17 and applications will be accepted by the Investment Center over the next month, until September 10.
“This directive is the first to give significant preference to the absorption of workers in Sderot and the towns in the Gaza periphery. The prioritization reflects the need for socioeconomic strengthening of the residents of this area and will increase their resilience and stamina in situations of emergency and crisis,” said Nahum Itzkovitz, director of the Investment Center.
“This is a program that expresses the priorities of the Economy Ministry of promoting and integrating disadvantaged populations on one hand while simultaneously strengthening the towns of Sderot and the Gaza periphery,” concluded Itzkovitz.