The Working Together Initiative

A joint initiative between the Government of Israel and leading philanthropists to integrate young adults in the periphery into meaningful employment

The challenge

Almost 12% of all young adults in Israel, aged 18-25, lack economic and emotional support from home and supportive social networks, or have limited education, training or professional skills. These challenges hamper their ability to integrate into the workforce, to ensure a life of economic independence and become contributing members of society.

The Initiative

The Working Together Initiative (WTI) is a product of the Prime Minister’s cross-sector round table that included representatives of the government, philanthropy and business sectors. WTI is a joint venture led by philanthropists and the Government of Israel, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (GOI), with a budget of NIS 13.8 million for 2017 to 2019.

WTI aims to integrate young adults in the periphery into meaningful employment and create a career path for them while also responding to the needs of employers. The initiative will rely on existing grassroots organizations, in the fields of employment and life skills guidance for young adults, and will promote inter sectorial cooperation.

WTI is being supervised professionally by Lamerhav, one of Israel’s leading NGO’s that provides quality, long-term support, intervention and mentoring to young adults without parental support. A steering committee comprised of GOI representatives and participating philanthropists is overseeing the project.

The target population for the pilot project will focus on young adults in the south of Israel who are not yet integrated into quality employment and meet at least two of the following conditions:

  • Not having completed twelve years of schooling, or without a full matriculation certificate or without a professional certificate.
  • Low level of basic skills and occupational skills.
  • Lack family backing – economic and/or emotional support.
  • Resident in a community ranked in the socio-economic cluster 1-6.

Getting Started

After an exhaustive search and public tender process and in order to create a truly cooperative initiative relying on existing organizations and improving collaborations, Eretz-Ir (formerly Tor Hamidbar), was selected to be the Integrating Body.

Eretz-Ir is an experienced NGO that promotes community and economic resilience in cities in Israel’s periphery. Eretz-Ir will work with participating organizations, employers, professional training and placement bodies, as well as local authorities, academic institutions and influential bodies. Their work will focus on the following activities:

  • Providing employment-focused guidance for young people in the periphery through partner organizations, providing tailor made answers to their specific and sectorial needs.
  • Establishing continuous and essential contact with employers in order to identify and answer their needs, including the scope and content of training, skills, support in the workplace and more.
  • Forming and distributing best practices for intervention with young adults to integrate them in meaningful employment.

Philanthropic Partners include