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Golden Globe: Israel's tech sector crisis affects Arab and Druze communities' economies

Government Israel Drastic budget cuts amid ongoing war Gaza Strip andFiscal Deficit This is increasingly affecting every industry, including technology.

Among the hundreds of budget cuts implemented in Israel are deep budget cuts to programs specifically designed to boost employment in the technology sector among marginalized communities. As Arab society And the Druze.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry cancels two important programs to support employee wages Orthodox Arabs and Druze, The total value is 43 million shekels (about $12 million), according to Israeli economic newspaper Globes.

The Israel Innovation Authority’s Technology 2024 report reveals that Arab and Orthodox communities are severely underrepresented in the technology sector.

The report shows that Orthodox men make up about 1% of technical employees, Orthodox women make up 1.7%, Arab men make up 1.5%, and Arab women make up 0.5%.

Serious impact on employment

According to the Globe:

  • The first program supported 25 to 35 percent of wages in the first year and 15 to 25 percent in the second year, but was abruptly cancelled for companies that employed Orthodox, Arabs, Druze, the disabled and unemployed youth.

The decision halted any new applications and undermined the prospects for increased job opportunities for these already underrepresented communities, the newspaper said.

  • Second program aims to spur tech companies to hire entry-level employees From the Arab community By supporting up to 30% of salary costs for up to 18 months. According to El Globo, the organization is facing severe cuts, with its budget cut by 60% from 15 million shekels (about $4 million) to just 6 million shekels (about $1.7 million), and the period of support reduced to just one year.

According to Globes, this reduction makes the program much less attractive to employers because entry-level employees typically fail to reach full productivity in their first year.

The industry is struggling

According to the newspaper, Rami Schwartz, managing director of Israel Portland Trust, expressed strong opposition to the cuts and stressed their devastating economic impact.

“Instead of realizing that this is an economic tool that can generate a high return on investment, increase Israeli jobs and prevent jobs from being lost abroad, the government is trying to eliminate our way of working,” he said. Schwartz stressed that 80% of the jobs created by Israeli companies last year were assigned abroad due to cost considerations and a deteriorating political and security environment.

Schwartz sent an urgent letter to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry asking it to reconsider the cuts, but was met with a dismissive response due to budget constraints.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry blamed budget constraints imposed by the Ministry of Finance.

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