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Israel approves national plan for increasing, developing human capital in high-tech

PM Lapid: “Israel has the characteristics & potential to be one of the 10 most successful countries in the world; this plan is a good start"

The developing hi-tech park in Be’er Sheba, southern Israel. Photo: Israel National Cyber Directorate
The developing hi-tech park in Be’er Sheba, southern Israel. Photo: Israel National Cyber Directorate

Israel’s cabinet approved on Sunday the national plan for increasing and developing human capital in high-tech, considered the country’s “growth engine” and responsible for over 15% of its GDP.

The plan will focus on education, innovation in traditional sectors, connections with Jewish diaspora, gender equality and gap reduction. It is the brainchild of Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash Hacohen, together with Education Minister, Dr. Yifat Shasha-Biton.

In a first-of-its-kind pilot education program was already launched this year at 600 8th grade classrooms in some 120 schools as well, and approximately 1,500 kindergartens. Next year, it will expand to additional 8th and 9th grade classrooms while prioritizing the periphery, until the plan spreads to all schools.

Regarding academia, the national plan sets out for a 20% increase in the number of university students studying high-tech professions and a 30% increase in the number of pre-university preparatory program students studying high-tech professions.

In addition, the government will aim to bring in under-represented populations, by adopting the Innovation Minister's goals of adding 4,500 personnel from the Arab sector, and 2,500 from the ultra-orthodox sector, with at least 45% of Innovation Authority trainees being women. Regarding the goal of gender equality, the plan will attempt to instill practices on gender awareness in high-tech industry companies.

The government has adopted the interim findings of the Perlmutter report, which recommends redefining high-tech professions so as to include technology professions in traditional sectors such as banking.

The plan will locate and bring to Israel people with relevant education for high-tech work in Israel who are eligible under the Law of Return, thereby also boosting links with world Jewry. The goal is to integrate at least 1,500 workers in 2022-2026.

Another goal is to increase by 2,000 the number of foreign experts coming to Israel to work for high-tech companies in 2022-2026. In order to assist in meeting this goal, the Innovation Authority will operate high-tech support centers that will help companies in removing bureaucratic impediments. An inter-ministerial team to evaluate bureaucratic impediments at large will also be formed.

“We are committed to dramatically strengthening the Israeli hi-tech market. Hi-tech education from a young age, as well as expanding representation and roles, are essential steps. This is right morally and it is right economically,” said Lapid

“Our government is not talking about preserving the status quo, but about 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.”

"Upon assuming office, I set for myself the goal of giving equal opportunity to all Israeli children and of integrating populations into Israeli high-tech. To this end, I have initiated an education plan – together with the Education Minister – in schools and kindergartens that started this year,” said Innovation Minister, Orit Farkash Hacohen.

"Exposing kindergarten-age children to innovation, technology and spoken English, alongside a new plan for middle schools, is important in making the field more accessible to all Israeli children, and will assist in reducing gaps and creating equal opportunities,” added Education Minister, Shasha-Biton.

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