Israel is facing a significant labor shortage, and factories are having a hard time filling positions – so the government is importing workers. Following the recommendation of Economy Minister Eli Cohen, the government has authorized work visas for 2,000 foreign workers, who will be employed in industry.
In order to attract workers, the government will subsidize them – with the foreign workers earning 130 percent of the average salary in the sectors they will be working in. Employers who wish to utilize the work permits will have to prove that they could not find Israeli workers to fill the jobs they are offering.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there are thousands of jobs in the industrial sector that are going begging. Many of the workers currently employed in the sector – immigrants from the former Soviet Union – are expected to retire in the coming years, a development that will exacerbate the shortage. Cohen said that the work visas will help alleviate the worker shortage in the short term, while longer-term solutions are being developed.