Emergency program launched to boost training, jobs amid COVID-19 crisis

The Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA) has launched an emergency human capital stimulus program for Israel’s hi-tech sector, in partnership with the Finance and Economy ministries, in order to boost the struggling economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic by incentivizing training and recruitment within the hi-tech sector and the wider Israeli economy.With hundreds of thousands of Israelis out of work due to COVID-19, including high-potential jobseekers such as academics and university graduates, the ministries and the IIA are working to encourage employers and trainers to apply for grants in order to encourage relevant employment opportunities.The program is set to have around 3,000 employees receive professional training within 2021 in various fields, such as IT, QA, cyber, and research and development, among others. The program also encourages flexible procedures, which include courses that are fully or partially online, training in conjunction with or directly through employers and the hiring of training program graduates as either freelancers or salaried employees.Successful applicants could be awarded grants for training and recruitment for up to NIS 45,000, though 75% of the grant will be provided when the training program graduates are hired.“I commend the launch of this emergency program, which offers extensive training and job placement opportunities in technological professions across Israeli industry,” Finance Minister Israel Katz said in a statement. “The new program is part of a broader effort to incentivize key players in the Israeli economy to support professional training and encourage employee retention. The program will offer immediate support for thousands of job-seekers in various technological professions. “This is just the first part in our fight to reduce unemployment, and we will promote further professional training schemes to reintegrate many more people into the job market,” Katz said. “I am working to strengthen Israel’s economy in the short term, and to prepare further policies that will ensure economic prosperity and growth in the future.”“This emergency program for professional training and recruitment, developed in conjunction with the Israel Innovation Authority, can create thousands of high-productivity jobs and help thousands of unemployed Israelis find their feet in the job market,” Economy Minister Amir Peretz explained. “The program is especially important in light of the dire unemployment rate, and it forms part of the Finance Ministry’s preparations for supporting Israel’s economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis subsides. I hope this program will be the first of many to help people regain employment while also improving the quality of human capital.”“The Innovation Authority’s emergency program to boost human capital in technological professions will enable the rapid training and placement of about 3,000 employees in the coming year alone, and is a priceless opportunity to bring thousands of previously outsourced positions back to Israel,” IIA CEO Aharon Aharon said. “This program will encourage companies to base their entire operations in Israel while also increasing the number of high-productivity R&D positions and integrating a large number of jobseekers within Israeli industry,” he said.