Ben-Gurion University's campus in Sde Boker.
(photo credit: BEN GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV)
The Ministry of Economy plans to expand its services throughout the country to boost Arab employment and productivity, Arab employment division head Ella Eyal Bar David told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“Our primary objectives for 2016 are expanding our services geographically, including in east Jerusalem, and working to increase the number of placements in high-salary jobs, in addition to entry-level positions, to boost economic productivity in the Arab sector,” said Bar David.
In 2015, 68 percent of those who turned to its Arab employment centers secured work, the Economy Ministry reported. Additionally, more than 8,000 new participants visited the 20 employment centers for the Arab, Druse, and Circassian sectors throughout Israel.
The results exceeded the government’s target of a 40% job placement rate.
Established in mid-2012, the centers have aided approximately 24,000 participants, with 13,600 placed in jobs by the end of 2015.
Other programs affiliated with the ministry also proved beneficial, such as Imtiaz, a three-year program with NIS 20 million funding that guides youth through academic studies in professions where a clear market demand exists, said the ministry.
These include physics, electrical engineering, computer sciences, medical laboratory science, civil engineering, transportation engineering, chemistry, dentistry, medicine, biomedical science, cognitive sciences, mathematics, economics and others.
Imtiaz’s services also include courses in high-level Hebrew and English, as well as preparation for university entrance exams.
Another three-year program worked to place Arabs in the hi-tech industry at a cost of NIS 10m. During its first year of operation it has found positions for 250 people in leading hi-tech companies such as Amdocs, Check Point, Intel, and HP.
A program called Eshbal provides training for engineers in the Beduin sector in southern Israel. It fully funds their studies, living costs, travel, and guidance until employment placement at a cost of NIS 40,000 per participant.
A new combined initiative by the Economy Ministry and the Transport Ministry costing NIS 48.5m. will create and expand bus lines to Arab communities, which will particularly benefit Arab women entering the workforce.