Start-Up Nation Central

According to a survey conducted by Start-Up Nation Central (SNC), under the leadership of Eugene Kandel, former Chairman of Israel’s National Economic Council, Israel faces a shortage of trained personnel for approximately 12,000 sophisticated programming jobs that require high-quality employees. The survey also indicates that despite an increase in the percentage of Arab and Haredi computer science students (about 7% of the total students in the general population), their rate of integration into the high-tech industry, and especially in development positions at the industry’s core, remains very low, at about 2%. The survey also indicates that these populations’ insufficient integration into high-tech stems mainly from a lack of practical experience and a considerable paucity in technological and soft skills and is particularly conspicuous in the Jerusalem region, where 37% of the population is Arab and 32% – Haredi.

The “Excellenteam” project, developed by SNC in collaboration with Israel’s leading high-tech companies, including Mobileye and Google, focuses on Jerusalem and consists of two tracks, customized to two of the city’s target audiences: The academic track – a short and intensive training program (bootcamp) for computer science graduates from the Arab and Haredi populations, along with subsequent guidance towards placement; and a longer vocational training track in computer science for the students of the Haredi seminaries of the Beit Yaakov Center, which provides a practical engineer (pre-academic) certificate to its participants, in addition to both the technological knowledge and the required skills and accompaniment for integration into the core of the high-tech industry. The programs were developed and are taught separately, and address the specific challenges and needs of each population.

Since 2019, four bootcamp cycles have been completed, with a total of 200 participants from both communities. Some 75% of the participants have secured employment in leading high-tech companies. The project introduces an innovative model for the development of an up-to-date, high-quality curriculum for unique populations, under the leadership of groundbreaking technology companies.