Aliyah resolutions to alleviate tech, engineering, medical labor shortages

The government is looking to diaspora Jews to bolster Israel’s economy and health system by easing the process of professional licensing and integration into the workforce.

 Diaspora Jews at Ben-Gurion Airport after making Aliyah to Israel. (photo credit: THE JEWISH AGENCY)
Diaspora Jews at Ben-Gurion Airport after making Aliyah to Israel.
(photo credit: THE JEWISH AGENCY)

The cabinet approved two government resolutions designed to reduce labor shortages in hi-tech and the medical professions, including doctors and nurses.

The resolutions, which are supposed to streamline the immigration process for those professionals and encourage them to make aliyah, were advanced by Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata. She said immigrants help drive Israel’s economy forward, and that the government must make full use of this potential.

The first resolution will see the establishment of an inter-ministerial working group to form an operational program to encourage aliyah among potential immigrants with qualifications in engineering and hi-tech. It will also establish a mechanism to connect these professionals with potential employers in Israel before they have even made aliyah.

The labor force is currently lacking some 13,000 to 20,000 engineers and hi-tech personnel, the Aliyah Ministry said on Sunday, with 60% of hi-tech firms reporting difficulties in hiring appropriate staff.

The ministerial working group, with representatives from numerous government ministries and economic bodies, will not only seek to encourage Jews in the Diaspora with relevant qualifications to make aliyah but also try to persuade Israeli citizens living abroad with such qualifications to return to the country.

 NEW IMMIGRANTS from North America receive a shofar’s welcome upon arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport on a special ‘aliyah flight’ on behalf of Nefesh B’Nefesh.  (credit: FLASH90) NEW IMMIGRANTS from North America receive a shofar’s welcome upon arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport on a special ‘aliyah flight’ on behalf of Nefesh B’Nefesh. (credit: FLASH90)

The placement mechanism to be created by the Aliyah Ministry together with the Jewish Agency will connect hi-tech aliyah candidates with potential Israeli employers before the immigrants come to Israel.

Hi-tech companies will be able to evaluate these potential employees, and the immigrants themselves will be able to obtain placement with relevant companies before they even arrive.

“Immigrants are the best form of growth for the Israeli economy,” said Tamano-Shata. “This resolution will allow thousands of applicants who have expressed interest in aliyah to integrate into Israeli industry, which will obtain skilled and experienced labor.”

The second resolution will see the establishment of another inter-ministerial committee that, similar to the hi-tech and engineering resolution, will draft a placement program for potential immigrants who are qualified doctors and nurses in cooperation with hospitals and medical health providers

It will also seek to create a web portal in English, Russian, French, and Spanish for immigrants in those professions to submit online the necessary documentation for licensing in their professions before they actually make aliyah.

Regulations for submitting licensing applications will be translated into the same languages to help immigrants navigate the bureaucratic process. Immigrants with experience as lab technicians to be examined in their professional field before passing exams in Hebrew-language proficiency.

The aliyah ministry noted that according to an OECD report, Israel will be the only country in the group that will have less than one doctor for every 100 citizens.

“Assisting new immigrants to integrate into a variety of jobs in hospitals is very welcome and will provide experienced, quality and professional manpower to those hospitals who will themselves be able to actualize twin missions: Zionist and medical,” said Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman.