Google to Pay for Tech Skills Training of Underrepresented Communities in Israel
Just recently, Google, the world-renowned tech giant, revealed that it would be allocating a budget of no less than $25 million to aid in the funding of skill development plans and programs. These training sessions have been decided to run over at least the next five years, specifically for the citizens of the State of Israel residing in underrepresented communities. The aim of this funding is to ensure that people belonging to underrepresented communities in the country are able to enter the celebrated high-tech industry. These communities comprise Arab and ultra-Orthodox professionals, as well as women, residing outside of the central areas in Israel. Locations of this kind are often referred to as the geographic ‘periphery’ in Israel.
Google announced that it is also going to be revealing a separate initiative for the tech sector in Palestine, sometime later in the week. As of now, the Arab community in the Jewish state makes up about 20% of the entire population of the country. However, only 3.5% of the total workers in the tech sector are Arabs. This data was revealed by Tsofen, an entity that works to promote tech activity in a wide range of Arab cities. It also develops plans of action to allow Arab-Israeli people to enter tech firms in the country. On the other hand, ultra-Orthodox employees in the tech sector amount to less than 3% of the total number of people employed.
Meanwhile, the overall share taken by women in the Israeli high-tech sector is around 28%, as per the latest figures. Tech startups founded by women account for no less than 10% in the Jewish state. The most recent figures have also revealed that as of now, the tech industry in Israel comprises of around 350,000 citizens, which is 10% of the overall workforce. In the last couple of years, the government has been trying its best to address the shortage of talent in the sector. It has also made several attempts to rectify the lack of diversity through the promotion of numerous initiatives and programs, which are aimed towards integrating the people belonging to underrepresented communities into the tech industry.
Experts have also taken to criticize the element of a wide socioeconomic gap in inequality between technology and various sectors of the country. The average wage on a monthly basis in Israel is NIS 11,667 for salaried employees. On the other hand, the average salary paid to people working in the tech sector is NIS 26,242. Just last week, the chairman of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), was visiting Israel when he linked the structural challenges in the country to a two-speed economy. In his words, the Jewish state is in dire need of bridging socioeconomic gaps in order to boost economic performance.
Therefore, the Google initiative is going to focus on addressing the challenges that arise in the Israeli tech sector by providing programs based on polishing the high-tech skills of teens, as well as adults. As per the announcement made by the tech giant, this step is being taken to help ensure that there is diversity in the workforce of the country that has been deemed to be the Startup Nation.