Israel helps bring Orthodox men, Arab women into workforce

Sunday, April 21, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel's Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry has launched a new program with the goal of bringing more ultra-Orthodox Jewish men, Arab women and people of both gender with disabilities into the workforce.

The program will provide those who apply with 85 percent tuition rebates for professional training courses. Those who graduate and get a job in the field in which they were studying will receive an additional grant to cover the rest of the tuition fees.

Orthodox Jewish men and Arab women are two of the sectors of Israeli society with the lowest employment rates. As part of his election campaign, new Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Naftali Bennett promised to begin fixing that situation.

In addition to improving the quality of life for those who enter the workforce, getting more Orthodox men and Arab women into the job market will ease the enormous tax burden that the other 70 percent of Israeli society currently bears.

Bennett and his team are calling the new program the "Fishing Pole" initiative, after the old adage "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."

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