By Shlomo Cesana, Israel Hayom via JNS
JERUSALEM — The Ministerial Committee on Arab Sector Affairs announced on April 24, that the government has invested 4.5 billion shekels ($1.3 billion) in the sector in the last two years.
Established in 2015, the committee counts among its members Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) and Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen (Kulanu).
During the meeting, the committee announced it would invest 20 million shekels ($5.6 million) in a new program aimed at helping integrate minority communities in the high-tech labor market.
According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads the committee, the government was on track to meet the committee’s goals of investing 15 billion shekels ($4.2 billion) in the Israeli-Arab sector by 2020 in order to “reduce the social and economic gaps between the minority sectors and the general population in Israel, through changing the mechanisms for allocation of funds.”
During the April 24 meeting, Gamliel said the goal of the plan was to bring the Arab sector’s performance in the fields of infrastructure, transportation, education and employment up to par with that of the general population.
Gamliel said, “The fact the plan was so successful is a testament to the government’s commitment cutting across ministries and party lines.”
Several representatives from a number of government offices were in attendance at the meeting.
Israel’s Arab citizens comprise around 17.4% of the country’s workforce, but according to a study published in August, 2017 by the Ministry of Finance, Israeli Arabs account for only 1.4% of technology jobs.
Cohen said that “the promotion of industry and employment in the minority sectors is of strategic importance to the reduction of gaps, economic prosperity and for social mobility.
The integration of the sector into the workforce is in the economic interest of the State of Israel, and its contribution will impact many fields.”