Government to subsidize professional training programs for unskilled Israeli job seekers

Government to subsidize

The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry on Monday announced plans to subsidize the training of unskilled job seekers. "The purpose of the new employment track is twofold: to train Israeli job seekers and to provide an incentive for employers to hire Israeli workers," Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said. The training program is part of the government's efforts to reduce the number of foreign workers. It provides professional training for Israeli unskilled workers for the industrial and services sectors but not for the construction and building sector. Under the plan, employers will be able to take unskilled job seekers, provide them with on-the-job training and hire them as skilled workers. The training will be given by an instructor provided by the employer. At the end of the training period, workers will take government tests to receive a professional diploma. Employers will be granted a subsidy of NIS 1,000 a month per trainee throughout the training period. The government will also subsidize employers during the training period with a grant of NIS 3,000 a month for the cost of the instructor. The length of the training period will depend on the profession and will be limited to six months. Employers who take part in the program will have a commitment to hire the trained workers and ensure they take the tests to receive the professional diploma. They also will be required to hire the trained workers for at least 12 months. Separately, Ben-Eliezer announced Monday he would settle disputes over the expansion of collective-labor agreements for the cleaning and maintenance sector aimed at improving work and salary conditions. A collective-labor agreement for the cleaning and maintenance sector has been signed between the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and the Histadrut Labor Federation and is awaiting Ben-Eliezer's approval. Employers in the cleaning and maintenance sector are opposed to the conditions of the expanded collective-labor agreement, which raises the minimum wage by 20 percent over two years.