Israel’s Employment Incubator
JDC-Tevet is the leading developer of multi-dimensional employment services in Israel, effectively serving as a national R&D arm. It strives to create equal opportunities for the country’s many minority populations by helping them enter the workforce and get ahead. Partnering with the Government of Israel, business and NGOs, JDC-Tevet develops and tests innovative, comprehensive programs that address the growing complexities of the world of work and the needs of those excluded from the labor market, among them Arab-Israelis, ultra-Orthodox Jews, people with disabilities, Ethiopian immigrants and more. Once programs are successfully piloted, the government generally takes them over and applies them on a broader scale.
What We Do
While Israel’s unemployment rate has hovered at around 5% in recent years, staggering percentages of working age Israelis are completely excluded from the workforce for a variety of reasons.
Over 25% of working Israelis earn extremely low wages, compared to an average of 15% in other member states of the OECD — and a disproportionate rate of these low-income workers are members of minority communities.
If Israel is to sustain its economic and social vitality and viability, especially in light of the transformative disruptions affecting the world of work, such at-risk populations must be educated, trained and assisted in finding and keeping jobs.
Since the late 1990s, the Israeli government has sought to shift its vulnerable populations away from cash welfare benefits towards active labor market policies. With over 100 years of experience working with vulnerable populations, JDC was a natural partner in the government’s new initiative, giving rise to the 2006 birth of JDC-Tevet.
The founding of JDC-Tevet, the Hebrew acronym for “leveraging employment”, stemmed from the understanding that employment, in general, and meaningful employment in particular, are not only keys to personal well-being, but also to community and national resilience.
However, subsequent developments and research have shown that the entry of at-risk populations into the work force does not necessarily guarantee their exit from poverty.
This, in turn, resulted in two new directions for JDC-Tevet designed to facilitate the advancement of low-income workers: programs that target employers as well as workers, and programs geared to the retention and career growth of employees through training, reskilling and upskilling.