Young Adults Working in Israel with up to 12 Years of Schooling: Integration into Employment – Resources, Barriers and Needs

Young adults who do not have an academic or vocational post-secondary education are liable to find themselves in dead-end jobs that may turn them into “working poor.” This report presents – for the first time – comprehensive, up-to-date information about the characteristics, working conditions and financial situation of young working adults aged 23-26 with up to 12 years of schooling.

The report is one in a series of three, which are based on a comprehensive study of young adults at risk for non-employment or low-level employment. The two others focus on: 1. Young adults who are neither working nor studying in a post-secondary framework and who do not intend to start such studies in the coming year; 2. Young adults with disabilities. The data for all three reports were collected simultaneously and a total of 1,200 young adults, who were identified through a screening questionnaire, were interviewed by telephone.

The information relates to a weighted sample of some 700 young adults. The sample represents the population of young working adults aged 23-26 with up to 12 years of schooling (total population 92,900 – 21% of the age cohort).

Among the main findings:

  • 42% were Arabs, 97% of them men.
  • 32% of the young adults had disabilities.
  • 65% had a low education, below matriculation certificate. 64% reported having some kind of profession (with or without a professional qualification). 32% had acquired a profession through a formal framework (army, high school or a vocational course).
  • 82% were wage-earners, mainly working as skilled labor in industry (33%) or in sales and services (37%).
  • 42% of those working without a professional qualification were interested in studying in the coming year, particularly in vocational training courses.
  • 23% encounter many difficulties in their place of work: dissatisfaction, limited work hours, fear of losing their jobs.

The findings bring up a number of programmatic directions including: Encouraging study possibilities so as to allow better integration into employment; enabling young adults to acquire or improve the appropriate skills for better work performance; increasing their awareness of their rights and social conditions provided by law; giving special attention to groups with barriers to promotion at work, a sense of instability at work, and/or dissatisfaction with work.

The main findings have been presented in various forums and contributed to policymaking and the development of programs to assist these young adults.

This study was funded mainly with the assistance of the Mandell L. and Madeleine Berman Foundation as well as assistance from the Gandyr Foundation.