Israel on Sunday approved a national plan to develop and boost its high-tech workforce with a focus on integrating underrepresented populations, from Arab to Haredi communities, as the country suffers from a shortage of skilled workers.
“High-tech education from an early age, as well as expanding representation and roles, are essential steps. It’s morally right and it’s economically right,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said. “Our government is not talking about preserving the status quo, but about making breakthroughs. »
“Israel has the characteristics and the potential to be one of the ten most successful countries in the world; this plan is a good start,” Lapid remarked.
Over the next five years, the supply of high-tech skilled workers is expected to exceed demand and lead to a shortage of more than 100,000 employees, so the government-approved plan includes a high-tech education program, which will start from the current school year and aims to improve technological, cognitive and digital skills in order to help the young generation adapt to the needs of the 21st century labor market. About 600 Grade 8 classes in some 120 schools and about 1,500 kindergartens will be part of this year’s pilot plan. Next year, the pilot project will be extended to other 8th and 9th grade classrooms, with a focus on the outskirts, before the plan is rolled out to all schools nationwide.
“Exposing kindergarten-aged children to innovation, technology and spoken English, alongside a new plan for middle schools, is important to making this area more accessible to all Israeli children, and will help reduce the gaps and create equal opportunities,” said Education Minister Dr. Yifat Shasha-Biton.
Additionally, the government has set a goal of adding 4,500 tech workers from the Arab sector and 2,500 from the ultra-Orthodox sector, with at least 45% women among Israel Innovation Authority interns. .
From 2022 to 2026, Israel seeks to recruit at least 1,500 high-tech individuals with relevant education abroad, including those eligible under the Law of Return.
“The plan will tangibly strengthen Israel’s high-tech industry, boost ties with the Jewish world and serve as positive diplomacy for the State of Israel,” the Israeli government said in a statement.
During the same period, the government aims to increase the number of foreign experts coming to Israel to work in high-tech companies by 2,000. Under the project, the Israel Innovation Authority will run support centers to help high-tech companies eliminate bureaucratic hurdles and bring in high-tech workers from abroad.
Source ; Algemeiner