The Economy Ministry announced on Monday that two organizations, Tsofen and ITworks, have won a tender for the training and integration of Arab, Druse, and Circassian academics into the hi-tech sector.In accordance with the tender, which was announced in October 2014, some NIS 10 million will be allocated to the two organizations over the next three years to operate the program. In turn, the two companies will examine the manpower needs of hi-tech employers in northern and central Israel and locate, guide, train, and place Arab students and academics in hi-tech companies.“We view the encouragement of high-level employment that offers good salary and employment conditions as a significant component in strengthening economic growth and narrowing the social and economic gaps between population sectors in Israel, and between National Priority Areas and central Israel. This is true for all industries but particularly relevant for the hi-tech industry,” said Michal Tzuk, deputy director-general and head of employment at the Economy Ministry.Hundreds of academics every year from the Arab, Druse, and Circassian sectors complete studies in relevant fields for work in hi-tech industries, but are often unable to find work in their chosen field of study.“There is a skilled and high-quality workforce in Israel in the form of hundreds of male and female academics from the Arab, Druse, and Circassian sectors available for employment. The program comes to meet these economic and cultural needs, and create a connection between the supply of manpower and the great demand among the employers,” Tzuk added.The program was established following a cabinet decision on January 29, 2012 instructing the Economy Ministry to create a program to encourage demand for employees among the Arab population and to improve employment infrastructure, one of the recommendations of the Trajtenberg Committee. The Economy Ministry and the Authority for the Economic Development in the Arab, Druse, and Circassian Sectors in the Prime Minister’s Office approved the proposal.