Two new programs have been launched by the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), which are the Emergency Training Program and Human Capital Fund, respectively. These are aimed at helping unemployed citizens who are interested in entering the tech ecosystem in Israel. These programs had been launched at the peak of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and are designed to aid job seekers and also strengthen human capital in times of national crises. The contribution by the IIA to both programs will be around NIS 139 million, which is the equivalent of $43 million.
There were more than 180 applications received by both programs. The 62 organizations that have been selected will help in training and placing approximately 9,000 citizens into positions that have opened up recently in the country’s tech sector. The Aaron Institute for Economic Policy did some research, which highlighted that of the Israelis that had become unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 57,000 of them have the potential of integrating with the high-tech scene in the country. The VP of the Israel Innovation Authority, Anya Eldan said that IIA considers these new programs for human capital important for cooperation between government ministries, training organizations, and industry.
The VP said that new high-tech employees will increase by tens of thousands through these programs, thereby bolstering the digital transformation in the country, along with providing a rapid response to increasing unemployment. Since the job market is undergoing change, rapid and innovative training will boost the number of employees in the industry, along with opening doors for new opportunities and promoting high-productivity employment positions. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel had been hit by a severe unemployment crisis and this resulted in the announcement of the Emergency Training Incentive Program.
The IIA worked with the Israel Ministry of Finance’s Training Administration and Ministry of Economy for launching this program. Its goal was to assist companies and organizations in training mainly minorities, women and ultra-Orthodox for the country’s high-tech sector. Of the total amount, it will be given $37 million, which will be used for filling 6,000 positions by 19 employers and 26 training providers. Israel Katz, the Minister of Finance said that this was a focused and effective solution for increasing unemployment. The Minister of Economy and Industry, Amir Peretz said that Israel’s society and industry as a whole will be strengthened through inclusive employment.
The remaining $6 million being contributed will be given to the Human Capital for High-Tech program and 3,000 positions will be filled in the next two years by 17 organizations. There will be more emphasis on integrating new immigrants, residents of the periphery, returning residents, underrepresented groups, and more. A number of priority areas were defined in the first Call for proposals, which included identifying the potential of individuals, performing career counseling, interships, on-the-job training (OJT), along with placement plans. All of this will help in handling the sudden unemployment crisis that has gripped the country because of the global pandemic.