The Government on Monday will launch a wide-ranging advertising campaign to encourage the employment of non-Jewish academics.
The campaign has been initiated by the Prime Minister's Office Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druze and Circassian Sectors in cooperation with the Industry, Trade and Employment Ministry and is designed to raise awareness of the issue while breaking through stigmas and calling attention to the incentives that the state offers employers.
Research published by the Prime Minister's Office revealed that the rate of employment among Arab sector academics is 81% in comparison to 90% in the Jewish sector.
However, many Arab sector academics are not employed in the profession in which they studied. Thus, for example, only 1.3% of those who studied high-tech professions are employed in the field, while 50% are employed in teaching.
The study also shows that there is a significant wage gap between the populations. In 2009, the average salary among Arab sector academics was NIS 7,255 ($1,868) in comparison to NIS 12,120 ($3,122) in the Jewish sector.
A survey carried out among employers showed that the main impediment to the employment of non-Jewish workers is prejudice and discrimination from employers: 22% of employers surveyed responded openly that they discriminate against candidates from the Arab sector and 25% expressed prejudice against such candidates.
It should be noted that 94% of employers that employ, or have employed, minority sector workers are interested in absorbing additional non-Jewish workers. However, only 65% of employers that have yet to employ non-Jewish workers expressed willingness to do so.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "We must create conditions that will enable the full integration of Arab sector academics in the labor market."
He added that "The Arab sector is a main growth engine for the Israeli economy, which has yet to be fully utilized, and I believe that their integration into the labor market will contribute not only to the Arab sector, but to the State of Israel as a whole."