Min. Naftali Bennett
Min. Naftali BennettIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Minister of Labor and Trade Naftali Bennett has revealed a plan to reduce the cost of professional training and to encourage those in training courses to put their skills to use.

The Ministry of Trade will cover up to 85% of the cost of training courses for those who are eligible, Bennett said. In addition, those who go on to work in the field will be eligible for a NIS 1,500-2,000 bonus.

The government will put NIS 30 million toward the program in 2013 and 2014, ministry staff said. Certain sectors of the population have been marked as high priority for the program, and other employment initiatives, among them hareidi-religious men, Arab women and the handicapped.

Hareidi-religious women, Arab men, former prisoners and single parents are also on the priority list.

When Bennett entered office he spoke of Israel’s obligation to help job seekers enter the workforce. He spoke this week about his new program.

“The time has come to give everyone who wants to work a fishing rod, not a fish,” he said. “I am willing to invest in these rods, which will bring lots of fish.”

“We will work to give as many tools as possible so that anyone who wants to can join the workforce and make a living with dignity,” he continued. “The focus will be on populations with particularly low rates of employment… I believe that a small push at the start can set a process in motion that will increase Israeli production and help reduce the cost of living in Israel.”