The program to promote the employability of immigrant academics aged 45+ from the former Soviet Union (FSU) was established in 2006 by TEVET-JDC-Israel in partnership with the Ministry of Absorption (Employment Division), the Labor Ministry Employment Service and Local Authorities. Its goal was to improve the immigrants’ employability and impart job-search skills that will enable them to find work commensurate with their qualifications. The program was implemented for three years (2006-09) by the Shipur company at two centers established in Petah Tiqwa and Rishon Leziyyon.
The program was accompanied by an evaluation to help improve the implementation and to examine its contribution to the participants and their employment. Data were collected from three sources: participants, implementers and professionals at the Local Authorities.
The findings revealed that:
The program succeeded in reaching 250 people in the course of the year. A considerable percentage (59%) were 45+, half (51%) had been in Israel for less than 10 years, most (81%) had an academic degree, and about half were engineers.
During their year in the program, a considerable percentage participated in various activities: lectures and workshops (90%), personal counseling (87%), and a job club (63%).
More than half of the participants assessed the contributions of the activities as “very great” or “great” for all the aspects examined: acquisition of new knowledge about the job market, provision of tools for job search, improvement of the ability to communicate with potential employers, and reinforcement of self-confidence. Additional activities in which they participated included courses and training, mainly in computer skills (58%).
After a year in the program, the percentage employed rose from 58% to 84% and the rate of participants working in their fields or in fields commensurate with their qualifications rose from 16% to 47%. A decline was found in the percentage of participants reporting all types of barriers, especially – how to look for work (from 50% to 11%), how to conduct oneself in job interviews (from 38% to 18%), and how to write a CV (from 40% to 17%).
The study was initiated by Tevet and funded with its assistance.
The findings were presented to the steering committee and were used to introduce improvements in the program and are serving as a base for its further dissemination.