JERUSALEM, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Israel on Wednesday announced the investment of 20 million shekels (6.13 million U.S. dollars) to promote training programs that will prepare the Arab population for Israel's high-tech sector.
The funds will be given in grants to Arab-Israeli companies to cover at most 70 percent of their costs in developing innovative programs and models that will help add skilled Arab human capital to the Israeli hi-tech industry, the Ministry of Economy and Industry said in a statement.
The grants will be awarded by the ministry's Directorate General of Labor and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), it said.
The IIA and the directorate thus called on corporations, associations and employers to help expand the access of Arab human capital to Israel's knowledge-rich industry.
Israeli Arabs comprise about 21 percent of the population in Israel, but the proportion of Arabs among all hi-tech workers only ranges from 2 percent to 3 percent, according to the IIA.
Integrating Arab professionals into hi-tech meets both the needs for economic growth and the government's employment goals for 2030, it noted.
"The Arab society in Israel has great potential, and its integration into the Israeli economy in general, and hi-tech in particular, is the key to reducing social gaps and achieving sustainable economic growth," IIA CEO Dror Bin was quoted as saying. ■