To address skill shortage issues in its technology sector, Israel has planned to relax its visa regime to attract skilled foreign workers into its country. The software firms warned that skill shortages are jeopardizing the country’s multi-billion sector of the economy.
Israel’s software clusters are one of the biggest globally, apart from Silicon Valley. It has a popular tag of being a“start-up nation”- the technology sector employs 12 per cent of the Israeli workforce. Even then, companies complain about the shortage of skilled individuals locally. Globally, there is substantial competition from Tech giants such as Google, Apple and Facebook which have developmental operations in Israel.
However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has approved to absorb a limited number of expert workers and also decided to grant work permits to their spouses as well.
Eli Groner, director-general of Mr. Netanyahu’s office, said that the new policy would allow thousands of permits for highly trained engineers, programmers, mathematicians and others. He did not give an exact number of individuals required for the industry. But the estimated shortfall was 10,000.
Mr. Groner said that “We will do what we can to expedite the process for everyone who wants to bring them and their significant others in.” Israeli tech companies, with US operations, had been vying for the right to transfer employees to Israel and recruit foreign nationals, have delightedly accepted the decision.