Ethiopian immigrants learn Hebrew (archives)
Photo: Nati Harnik, GPO

Helping Ethiopian university graduates find work

Some 4,000 Ethiopian immigrants with academic degrees live in Israel, but only 15% of them have jobs fitting their skills. Olim Together association seeks to improve situation together with Jewish Agency, Bank Hapoalim and IDC Herzliya

The State of Israel is not doing enough to integrate Ethiopian immigrants in the labor market, even if they have acquired an academic education and tools to succeed in the business world, a report released Monday revealed.


The data was presented by the Olim Together association, which works to find suitable employment for Ethiopian university graduates.


According to the association, there are 4,000 Ethiopian academics in the Israeli labor market today, but only 15% of them are employed in positions fitting their skills, compared to 70% of university graduates from the former Soviet Union and 40% of the academics in the Arab sector.


In light of the market trends reflected in these troubling figures, Olim Together has joined forces with the Jewish Agency, Bank Hapoalim and the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, in a project seeking to change the situation.


The association and its partners have recruited senior Israeli CEOs, who help the immigrants secure employment through social networks and prominent companies in the Israeli economy.


So far, nearly 100 university graduates have been hired for prestigious positions as a result of the combined effort by the association, the assisting organizations, the senior managers and the companies approached.


Simultaneously, the association helps enrich the Ethiopian academics' "tool-box" in an annual excellence program.


Deep commitment

Some 200 volunteers, including dozens of senior Israeli managers, will receive a merit certificate from the association and its partners this week for their contribution to the advancement of Ethiopian academics' employment.


The association is comprised of senior Israeli managers, as wells as hundreds of businesspeople and private people. Its goal is to recruit the entire Israeli public to the task of helping Ethiopian university graduates and it invests great efforts in this mission.


Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski told Ynet, "The Jewish Agency views the integration of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel as a most important task and will continue to develop special programs to ease the absorption of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel."


Bank Hapoalim CEO Zvi Ziv said, "We are working to help Ethiopian academics find suitable jobs which fit their education and abilities. This activity manifests our deep commitment to this wonderful group of immigrants and to the entire Israeli society."


פרסום ראשון: 09.02.08, 15:20
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