Immigrant Employment: Two to Three Years after Employment Center Counseling

The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption operates six employment counseling centers throughout Israel to assist immigrants in finding employment. This study examined the extent and level of job placement of immigrants who participated in counseling center programs and their assessment of the centers’ contribution to improving their chances of finding employment. The data were collected from a random sample of 611 immigrants. To complete the picture, information was collected also from 30 employers who hired immigrants from the counseling centers.

These are some of the main findings.

  • Participants were of relatively longer standing in Israel – some 40% had been here more than seven years. About 60% were women and a third of them were single parents. Fifty-eight percent held an academic degree and 25%, a post-secondary certificate; 74% had academic, professional, technical or managerial (APTM) occupations and almost all had worked in their occupations in their countries of origin or in Israel.
  • There was a significant increase in the rate of employment following center participation: from 35% in the period of up to six months prior to or during participation to 84% after participation. No differences were found among the centers.
  • In terms of job placement level, there was also significant improvement. The rate of employment in APTM jobs rose from 15% to 26% and, concomitantly, the rate of employed in unskilled jobs dropped from 30% to 17%. However, the rate of employment in APTM professions was still lower than that of participants whose original occupations were in these fields.
  • Income is another parameter of quality of job integration. The average monthly salary of the participants was NIS 4,584, comparable to that of the total immigrants with similar characteristics, according to data of the Central Bureau of Statistics – NIS 4,917, and higher than the minimum wage at that time – NIS 3,710.
  • A considerable proportion of those employed were satisfied (55%) or very satisfied (15%) with their jobs.
  • Twenty-nine percent of the participants were satisfied and 9% were very satisfied with the services they had received at the centers. Participants expressing dissatisfaction related this to the fact that the centers had not found them jobs or suitable jobs. At the same time, a considerable proportion, 75%, would recommend the centers to other immigrants. They apparently saw the centers’ potential to assist other immigrants.
  • The employers reported a favorable connection with the centers, noting that they had hired immigrants via the centers because the latter had a large pool of qualified candidates and conducted the initial screening for them.

The study findings were presented to the steering committee of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and are to be presented to the staffs of the employment counseling centers.

The study was initiated and funded by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.