According to a report published by Startup Nation Central from last April, the Israeli high-tech sector is short some 13,000 employees to fill in various tech jobs -- with demand outweighing supply by a lot. This has sparked a resource rich battle for every skillful worker in the sector. However, now, the government seems to have found a solution -- at least a partial one.

Training immigrants is cheaper than training Israelis

The Israeli Government, yesterday authorized the establishment of a team of CEOs who will work to formulate operational plans to encourage immigration of engineers and high-tech related professionals, as well as the return of professionals with training in engineering and high-tech (returning expats), the training or retraining of relevant candidates in their countries of origin.

Leading the human resource crisis team of CEOs stands the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) Director General and representatives from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Treasury, and other crucial government offices.

Along with the announcement of the inter-ministry cooperation, the Ministry of Science noted that based on a report from the Innovation Authority -- also from this past April -- over 60% of high-tech companies in Israel reported severe difficulties in recruiting quality and skilled developers.

The new committee’s decision also includes the establishment of a mechanism to be managed by the Ministry of Alliyah and Integration in cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Israel, designed to connect immigration candidates with a professional background in engineering and high-tech with potential employers in Israeli industry, even prior to immigrating to Israel. This mechanism will include three stages, in which the candidate is analyzed according to their experience, abilities and education; candidates are connected with potential employers from a database centered by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration; and allocating candidates to relevant companies once they move to Israel.

According to data from the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and the Jewish Agency, there are currently more than 3,100 immigrants from the engineering and high-tech professions seeking to immigrate to Israel. A study conducted by the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration shows that training an engineer in Israel costs the government more than $37,000 (mainly for study subsidies and government incentives). On the other hand, the cost of integrating an immigrant from the engineering profession into Israeli tech is between $7,000-$9,000, because the immigrant’s knowledge and training has already been accumulated abroad.