The Starter Apprenticeships Program is a project ICEJ Canada is working with to help disadvantaged young adults receive training to find good jobs and build both their lives and their country.
Despite the success enjoyed by the State of Israel since her founding, she still faces many challenges. Of foremost concern to many Israelis is the high cost of living, the large gap between the rich and poor and the high poverty rate - which in 2016 stood at 18.6% of Israeli families.
Israel has become a skill based high tech society that has left behind those with traditional skills, and particularly industrial workers. So many young Israelis dream of a better life, yet over one-third of them work in minimum wage jobs, living pay cheque to pay cheque.
The Starter Apprenticeships Program was created to help disadvantaged Israelis facing these challenges to become self-sufficient. Employers hire unskilled partiipants and train them in their profession of choice; in jobs with potential to advance over time, to eventually become well-paid master technicians.
Participants spend three days a week on the job with their mentors and two days a week studying for certification at a vocational college. The course curriculum is adapted to fit the employer's needs. Participants complete the 6-8 month apprenticeship with rich work experience and government certification in their profession, ready to compete in a job market with new skills that are in high demand.
This project seeks to make gainful employment accessable to all Israelis, boost the sustainability of Israeli businesses, and pave the way for Israel's future economic growth. The cost of training each apprentice is approximately $5,000 a year per student. Program costs include: staffing, vocational training courses, oversight, employer incentive, equipment, marketing, evaluation, research, and administrative costs. Our plan is to raise enough funds to help 15 to 20 young Israelis in 2019.
A Life Changed:
Baruch Avrahamis 26 years old. He He grew up in Ramle, a town in central Israel known both for its ethnic diversity and its economic distress. Baruch is the son of immigrants from Ethiopia, who arrived in Israel before 1990. Coming from Ethiopia, the adjustment to modern, western Israel was difficult. Baruch is the first generation Israeli.
Prior to his participation in the Starter Apprenticeship program, Baruch was single and worked on a packaging line in a factory. This low-paying, unskilled work yielded him little income and little chance for advancement. Nor did it utilize his innate technical talent.
In 2005, JDC created a network of local community centers designed to advance young adults called Centers for Young Adults. They help young adults living in economically distressed towns to reach better opportunities in Israel's workforce. Having handed over these centers to their local communities, JDC returned to them to recruit for its new Starter Apprenticeship program.
Baruch heard about the Starter Apprenticeship program through the Ramle Center for Young Adults. He became interested in the CNC metal manufacturing course, the first apprenticeship training offered by Starter when JDC launched the program in December 2015. He made the considerable commitment to travel regularly to the training college Tzur Barak, located near Ashkelon, during the training. He took up the practical apprenticeship three days a week at El Al, Israel's largest airline, which is located close to his Ramle home, at the Ben Gurion Airport in Lod. Baruch succeeded in the initial training at Tzur Barak, the apprenticeship at El Al. He passed the theoretical exams and earned a government certificate in CNC. Today he continues as a full-time employee in El Al's CNC department.
There, he is responsible for reading blueprints and creating with precision all types of metal parts for EL Al airplanes, from refurbishing old passenger seats to intricate mechanical parts for airplane motors.
Gaining a new life through his new profession and career, Baruch got married in June 2016 with the completion of his CNC training course. The Starter Apprenticeship program has made the difference in him being able to access a lucrative profession, freeing him from the unskilled work into which he had fallen like so many Israeli young adults. He looks forward to future advancements at El Al.
Please consider supporting this important project!
Thank You and God Bless You!