Summary of activity for the Administration for Employment in the Arab Sector in 2015
In 2015, over 8,000 new participants visited the 20 employment centers for the Arab, Druze, and Circassian populations throughout Israel. From the time the centers were established in mid-2012 and up until the end of 2015, they have helped approximately 24,000 participants, with approximately 13,600 placed in employment. This is far higher than the government target: 56% placement over 3.5 years, which is 14% higher than the government target of 40% placement at this stage, as defined at the beginning of the program.
Apart from the comprehensive services offered at the employment centers, many participants were also helped by various programs aimed at a range of target populations in the Arab sector:
- Imtiaz: A program that guides young people up until the age of 35 to academic studies in professions for which a clear market demand exists. Imtiaz (excellence in Arabic) is three-year program, with NIS 20 million in funding, just ending its first year of activity. It included 74 courses, such as preparation for the psychometric exam, academic Hebrew and academic English. The program included 1,313 male and female participants, of whom 354 completed the process and began studying in higher education institutions this academic year. The students are studying professions that are in market demand, such as physics, electrical engineering, computer sciences, medical laboratory science, civil engineering, transportation engineering, chemistry, dentistry, medicine, biomedical science, cognitive sciences, mathematics, economics and more.
- Integrating Arab academics into hi-tech: The program for placement of academics in the hi-tech industry is a three-year program at a cost of NIS 10 million, with the goal of placing 1,000 Arab academics in hi-tech positions. During its first year of operation, the program has led to 250 placements in the industry’s leading hi-tech companies, such as Amdocs, Check Point, Intel, Galil Software, IBM, HP and others. At the same time, courses have been held for around 120 participants in the fields of mobile application development, Java, Real Time and QA.
- Eshbal: Around 85 male and female engineers have begun their studies this year as part of the Eshbal project for the Bedouin population of southern Israel that provides full funding for engineering studies, a living allowance, travel costs, and guidance until the end of the course, as well as employment placement, at a total cost of NIS 40,000 per participant.
- Transportation: In order to overcome the obstacles in traveling to work in the Arab sector, particularly for working women, a program has begun to improve public transport to workplaces, jointly operated by the Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Transport at a cost of NIS 48.5 million. This is a permanent and long-term solution to the hardship caused by the lack of sufficient public transport services that enable commuting from distant Arab communities to workplaces. Over the last year, as part of the project, research has shown the need for eight new routes and the strengthening of 23 existing bus lines. The bus lines will begin to operate during the first half of 2016.
- East Jerusalem: Encouraging employment also continued among the East Jerusalem population of around 300,000 residents, comprising approximately 37% of the city’s population. The participation rate in the workforce of Arabs from East Jerusalem is 40% and is significantly lower than that of the general Israeli population. This year, a pilot program was run by the employment center operated in the Beit Hanina and Shuafat neighborhoods, through the Administration for Employment in the Arab Sector at the Ministry of Economy, together with the Authority for the Economic Development, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, through the Tevet Initiative of JDC-Israel. The center serves as a “one-stop shop” for the unemployed in directing them to appropriate employment, providing career guidance and consultation services, readiness and guidance for higher education, preparation for the world of work, appropriate placement and ongoing employment guidance. Out of approximately 1,000 participants in 2015, about 390 were placed in jobs. Likewise, various courses have been offered at the center: Hebrew, English, computer studies, preparation for the tests given by the Israel Bar Association, preparation courses for the world of work business entrepreneurship in cooperation with Maof.