Emerging digital fields such as SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Data Analysis create 3,000 new jobs in Israel each year. The Digital Talent program takes advantage of this demand to quickly train Israelis from the most economically vulnerable communities in digital professions. This creates an affordable, accessible path for disadvantaged Israelis to enter lucrative careers in a high-tech environment where they can continue to learn and advance. A secondary purpose of the program is to draw on untapped human resources from populations that are not well represented in the Israeli high-tech industry: Arabs, Ethiopian-Israelis, the ultra-Orthodox, and Israelis with disabilities.
Digital Talent also improves how the Israeli government sponsors and certifies training for digital professions, by formulating the training curriculum directly according to Israeli employer's needs.
The training is conducted in top-of-the-line vocational colleges, and some of the curriculum is taught by representatives of industry leaders. The program provides updated curricula, advanced teaching methods, quality labs and staff to draw students with employment and study abilities.
The program identifies digital professions in high demand, quickly develops training and supplies industry with qualified and quality workers.
Students are exposed to basic digital marketing terms, going on to specialize in one of several fields of study offered and acquiring tools that prepare them for the workforce. The three specialization tracks are Content and Social Media, Data Analysis and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Students also get to experiment with the tools they acquired, putting together a portfolio of their digital work that serves as their entry ticket to the industry. At the end of the program help is provided in finding work.
The government has committed to take over the funding of each of these professional courses that have completed two rounds and demonstrated successful participation and placement. So far, the PPC courses have reached that milestone and the SEO Data Analysis and Social Media courses are expected to reach that milestone during 2018.
What’s Special about the Program?
Digital Talent links the high-tech industry to diverse populations that are badly underrepresented in that field. The students from diverse backgrounds bring new perspectives to digital industries, combining different worlds.
The program provides a dual response – for employers who need professional staff and participants seeking to enter a world that is largely out of bounds to many.
A digital committee made up of five leading companies, Google, Tabula, E bay, Check Point and XX, along with government officials from the vocational training unit, meet to discuss the needs emerging in the market. These companies build the curricula for training in these new professions that are then taught as part of the digital talent courses.
Aviv Haniya, 28, from Beersheba joined the program through the municipal employment center of the southern city. His job experience was mostly as a service rep.
In June 2016, Aviv took part in a STRIVE employment preparation program (also developed by JDC-Tevet), where he focused on inter-personal skills and career development. Asked during the program to write down his professional dream, Aviv was quite clear: he wanted to work for McCann Valley, an advertising agency in the Negev Desert town of Mitzpe Ramon.
Eight months later, his STRIVE coordinator referred him to a selection process for the Digital Talent program. He was accepted into a training course in Social Media and Content Development.
Aviv graduated successfully and in August began working for McCann Valley as a social media account executive. Several months later he was promoted to the job of SEO director at the agency.
This is one of the more exciting success stories of the program. It is also a good example of the potential benefits of cooperation among various employment programs developed by JDC-Tevet.
The program recruits and selects Israelis from all disadvantaged communities and then trains them in digital professions in intensive three-month courses. Courses in 2017 included SEO, PPC, Social Media and Data Analysis. Courses in other digital professions are planned in 2018. Through mentoring and professional networking participants are assisted to find immediate employment. The program tracks participation, success in completing training and job placement success.
The Program in Numbers
A Pay-per-Click (PPC) pilot program in 2016 ended with 15 graduates, 60% of whom were placed in relevant jobs.
In 2017, seven courses were held in four subjects: Data, SEO, Social Media and Pay-per-Click (PPC). Of the 127 graduates, 56 were placed in digital jobs.
The mix of participants includes 30% from the Arab community, 9% from the ultra-Orthodox community, 20% immigrants from Ethiopia and 9% people with disabilities.