Israel needs to fight to maintain its start-up nation status – comptroller report

Some 45% of Israeli jobs in the labor market are endangered due to mechanization.

By World Israel News staff

Israel needs to fight for maintaining its status as the start-up nation, State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman stated in a Sunday issued report. This is due to a transformation in the future of global workforce, Israeli media reported.

The report was held in conjunction with the E.U., Finland, South Korea,  Italy, Bulgaria and northern Macedonia, and addressed the changes expected in the labor market due to accelerated technological development created in recent years  which has changed the demand for certain professions.

For Israel to maintain its status as the Start-Up Nation, it must “address the shortage of skilled professionals in the hi-tech industry,” while heavily involving the Education Ministry.

The shortage of academic staff must be addressed, according to the report, in addition to reducing university drop out rates in subjects pertaining to the hi-tech industry.

“This is essential in guaranteeing the next hi-tech generation,” it stated, especially considering Israeli student scores falling short in comparison to other OECD countries.

However in contrast, some 50% of people in Israel and South Korea have an academic degree, while only 46% do in Finland, 33% in the E.U. 28% in Bulgaria, 21% in northern Macedonia, and 20% in Italy.

“The education system should also teach the skills students will need as adults in their social, personal, and professional lives in the 21st century.”

Deficiencies in the policy making, planning, and implementation of skills in educational institute curricula were found.

Moreover, 45% of Israeli jobs in the physical labor market are at risk due to changes in automation, markets and globalization, in comparison to 34% in Finland, 43% in South Korea, 48% in European Union countries on average, and 51% in Italy.

Activities which can be replaced by mechanization, such as computers, artificial intelligence or machines, are expected only decline in number.

However, while certain professions will disappear, new ones will be created, according to the report. An increase in activity demanding knowledge of technology and human qualities such as creativity and socializing is to be expected.

“The scope of these changes, as well as the speed of their occurrence emphasize the need to adapt the skills provided to students by the education system – the future workers – as well as the skills of current workers, to those changes,” stated the report.

The report was based on data gathered from 2018-2019, implying that trends found will only have intensified during the pandemic.

To emphasize this, the report stated that the employment crisis caused during the outbreak only highlights the importance of investing in the unemployed and in today’s students, in order to increase their employment capabilities in an everchanging reality.

Lastly, the report encouraged greater inclusion of populaces only minorly represented in the hi-tech workforce, such as women, Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox.