InitiativesWork Force & Employment

Work Force & Employment

Over the past decade Israel’s rural sector has been struck hard by a series of crises after years of success. Israeli farmers have witnessed far-reaching and profound change in the agricultural industry. Prices for their produce have dropped sharply as a result of competition from low wage countries in Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. National organizations and export cooperatives in Israel that used to support the farmers collapsed and never recovered from years of poor investment decisions and mismanagement.

The agricultural industry, a once staple of the Israeli economy, continued to decline in the late 1990s as the high-tech boom revolutionized the Israeli business market. Many farmers realized that they would have to find new ways to make a living, but the rising national unemployment rate, the farmers’ lack of professional skills and the distance of farm communities from urban job markets, made this particularly hard. To compound this, the current economic recession has left many people in rural areas without the necessary resources and skills to cope in this harsh new economic environment.

Finally, in northern Israel and in the northern Negev, economic uncertainty is magnified by external threats from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Today, Israel’s rural sector continues to face severe challenges. Although the ongoing security crisis is exacerbating the situation further, thankfully a solution is already in place through Ma’avarim.

Maavarim Program - Rural Employment Centers: Establishing a Human Development Unit

Maavarim is an organizational platform that combines three levels of intervention:

  1. The Individual
  2. The Community
  3. The Region

The program is a partnership of different government agencies and the local municipal councils.

The Objectives

  • Increase the number of employed
  • Improve the employability of the regional population
  • Increasing the wage level
  • Improve the ability of each community to actualize its employment potential
  • Institutionalize the operational framework and create a stable address

National Framework

  • Professional Support and staff training
  • Information and knowledge management
  • Internet platform and content
  • Research and evaluation

Guiding Principles

  • Mobilizing local strengths
  • Creating a horizontal and vertical partnership
  • Seven functions:
    1. Director
    2. Occupational Community Worker
    3. Placement Coordinator
    4. Coordinator of Employees
    5. Local referent
    6. Information Service
    7. Small business entrepreneur support