Young Adults in Israel Who Are Neither Working Nor Studying: Integration into Employment – Resources, Barriers and Needs

In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for young people to integrate into the labor market and their job stability has been undermined. Young adults who currently find it hard to enter the workforce and gain experience may find that this predicament further reduces their chances of integrating into the workforce in the future. This report presents – for the first time in Israel – comprehensive, up-to-date information on the characteristics of young adults who are not employed or studying in post-high school education and who do not intend to study in the coming year. The report presents information on the barriers and resources for their integration into the workforce, their motivation to work or study, their financial status, and their needs for assistance integrating into employment and education.

The report is one of a series of reports that addresses young adults at risk of non-employment or employment in low-level work. The two other reports in the series are: 1.Young adults with disabilities; 2. Young adults who are working, with 12 years of school or less. The data for all three groups were collected concurrently. Altogether, telephone interviews were conducted with some 1,200 young adults, who had been identified through a screening questionnaire.

The information in the report relates to a weighted sample of some 400 young adults. The sample represents the population of 23-26-year-olds in Israel who are neither working nor studying, in all 49,000 individuals (11% of this age group).

The following are the main findings of the survey:

  • Over a third (37%) of the young adults have disabilities: 26% have a physical/sensory/intellectual/mental disability and 11% have learning disabilities and/or a concentration disorder
  • The main barriers to employment are low levels of education, lack of soft skills, and insufficient preparation for the labor market
  • 23% have a formal professional qualification. 57% are looking for work and 34% have no income
  • 80% are interested in working, and about half of these reported a need for vocational guidance and counseling and improvement of their personal skills
  • The study tracked and characterized a group of young adults at high risk of remaining out of work – 39% of the study group. This group includes those who have never worked and those who did not work or study in the two years prior to the survey.

The findings indicated several programmatic directions: Creating post-high school vocational and academic study tracks that meet the needs of the labor market; preparation for employment and vocational/educational counseling and guidance. The main findings have been presented in various forums and contributed to processes of policymaking and devising programs to assist the young adults to integrate into employment.

This study was funded by the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Foundation as well as the Gandyr Foundation.