The Israeli government approved a project that would allow Israeli work permits to be issued to 500 Palestinian tech employees from the West Bank over a period of three years, according to Israeli media.
Prior to this decision, the Israeli government has only approved work permits for Palestinians working in construction and agriculture. However, with Israel currently facing a shortage of skilled programers the government has broadened the fields to which it will grant permits. According to financial news outlet Globes, the government has granted 8,500 permits to Palestinians living in the West Bank and who work in any industry, including the 500 technology workers.
In 2022, 200 Palestinian workers will receive permits, another 200 will receive work permits in 2023, and 100 will receive permits in the final year of the current project in 2024.
In October, the Central Bureau of Statistics published a report, which showed that there is a 14,000 employee shortfall in Israel’s tech sector of which 10,000 is in software. “Alongside this shortfall, the current government’s guidelines have set a target of increasing the overall percentage of Israel’s workforce employed in tech to 15 percent by 2026,” reported Globes.
Indeed, an employment chief will be appointed to the Israel Innovation Authority, who will will work with tech companies to attempt to fill the thousands of job vacancies.