Skilled Employment for Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Men
Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) men face numerous obstacles in their search for quality employment. The unemployment rate of Haredi men between the ages of 25-64 is much higher than the national average, standing at 65%.
While lack of higher education is a very serious impediment to their professional development, Haredi men also suffer from discrimination and cultural-specific obstacles that hold them back from finding quality employment.
Research by the Ministry of Economy found that in comparison with non-Haredi Jews, the process of searching for work is harder for Haredi men; it takes longer, the response ratio is significantly lower, job interviews are fewer and salaries is lower.
These obstacles multiply the burden which characterizes entry of excluded minority groups into the labor market: lack of relevant social networking, fear of stigma and exclusion, lack of self-promotion skills, cultural differences causing failed job interviews, and so on.
As one of Israel’s leading non-profits in the field of vocational tech training and job placement, itworks’ won a tender put out by the Ministry of Labor, to operate a one-of-a-kind program to facilitate entry of Haredi men into the skilled workforce.
The program reaches out to Haredi men ages 21- 45 who are unemployed or working in unskilled jobs that do not match their education or abilities, and who are interested in entering the high-tech workforce and present the motivation to initiate a change in their life. In cooperation with Mafteach Centers (national “one-stop shops” offering employment support for the Haredi population), itworks operates five centers across Israel (located in Haifa, Safed, Modi’in Iilit, Beitar Ilit, and Beit Shemesh).
The Action Plan
Program participants take part in a comprehensive program including: focused technological training designed to ensure that they will hold the exact technical knowledge and skills sought after by leading high-tech companies in the region, English lessons to improve the participants technical and business English skills, professional “soft” skills (from CV writing to preparing for job interviews, learning appropriate behavior in the modern workplace, contract negotiations, etc.) as well as participating in a variety of on-site seminars which include visits to leading companies where they meet with the senior management, and intensive job placement services during which time each participant will be closely guided and supported by the itworks’ project team.