As part of Israel’s acceptance into the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) in 2010, the OECD’s Employment, Labour, and Social Affairs Committee published a review of Israel’s labour market and social policies.
The review contained 16 key recommendations for improvements in Israel’s labour market and social policies in five broad areas:
1. The enhancement of employment opportunities for disadvantaged populations
2. Reducing gaps in education
3. The development of public infrastructures, such as transportation, in the periphery
4. The expansion and reform of pension coverage
5. The status of foreign workers in the labour market.
Israel was asked to submit a progress report to the OECD on the implementation of the recommendations within two years of its joining. In 2012, the report was prepared under the auspices of the Minister of Economy with the assistance of the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute (MJB).
In 2015 Israel was asked to prepare an additional report updating on the progress since 2012. Once again, the report was prepared with the assistance of the Institute. While the first report gave extensive detail on the issues and the various efforts to address the recommendations, the current report is shorter and focuses on the main changes that have since taken place.
The Institute worked with some 20 government ministries and agencies and utilized all relevant sources to present an integrated and objective analysis of the progress made. Considerable effort was invested in integrating and coordinating the perspectives of the different ministries and agencies addressing similar issues.
The Ministry of Economy approved the report and submitted it to the OECD in September 2015.
Each chapter relates to one of the 16 OECD recommendations. Most of the information is based on materials and written responses from the authorized government departments, supported, where relevant, by government resolutions. Where possible, the report provides quantitative indicators of the trends in budget allocations, the number of service recipients and relevant outcome measures.
The report is unique in that it presents a broad and in-depth perspective on Israel’s efforts to address a wide range of critical questions relating to major labor market and social policy issues.
The report is an important step in developing Israel’s dialogue with the OECD and the broader international community. Beyond that, it creates a shared perspective among the various government entities addressing these issues. It will serve as an important basis for further policy discussion in Israel within the government and with the broader society and thus for Israel’s continuing efforts to address these major challenges.