A government program to promote hiring of chareidim and Arabs has created a wave of interest among Israeli companies, who would be entitled to aid in paying their salaries, Globes reported.
The Economy Ministry and Industry Investment Promotion Center says that it has received requests from 151 companies for inclusion in the program. A company that hires workers from these sectors will be eligible for a state subsidy of 27.5 of the new employees’ salary for 30 months.
Israeli politicians and economists have long complained of the low level of minority participation in the work force, though little has been done to alleviate discrimination in hiring, either in the public or private sectors.
The program got underway a few months ago, but most of the requests submitted by companies to the Investment Center were examined only in recent days.
Investment Promotion Center director Nachum Itzkovich estimated that over 3,000 workers could benefit from the requests. “We will not grant all the requests, because not all of them meet the threshold conditions established in the program, but the demand is still on an unprecedented scale for this employment track. We may need a budget supplement in order to meet the huge demand from companies for participation in the program,” Itzkovich said.
He added that granting all of the requests submitted by companies under the program would require a budget allocation of NIS 146 million.
Sixty of the requests were submitted by firms in the Haifa and northern districts, with 28 coming from Be’er Sheva and the south, 26 from Yerushalayim, 29 from Tel Aviv, and 8 from Yehuda and Shomron.