Labor Market Integration of Immigrants, Refugees and Disadvantaged Groups – A Comparison of Israel and Germany - Implementation of a seminar with the topic: „VET and social integration of refugees and immigrants in Germany and Israel“ – October 23-25 2017 in Tel Aviv

A professional exchange of vocational training experts from Germany and Israel within the framework of the German-Israeli vocational training cooperation program was the basis for recommendations for the labor market integration of immigrants.

A three-day seminar in Tel Aviv in October 2017 dealt with the concepts of measures and good practice projects of both countries on the topics of language acquisition and vocational preparation as well as counseling / assistance. Experts from the programmatic and operational level of both countries discussed success factors, program structures, and transfer possibilities.

Women sitting at a table during a discussion
Seminar participants during group work

Practitioners and representatives of relevant ministries and other institutions from both countries came together to present the topics and discuss them with one another. Despite different systems, a closer look at the Israeli projects provided valuable insights and new impulses for the German side at the project as well as program level.

On October 23, the seminar was opened by Susanne Burger from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research on the German side and Shooly Eyal, head of the Manpower Training & Development Bureau MTDB (Vocational Training Office) of the Ministry of Labor, Socials Affairs and Services, on the Israeli side. The first day of the seminar was used to provide a knowledge base with lectures on labor market integration in both countries.

Furthermore, on this day the topic of language acquisition in both countries was dealt with and discussed on a programmatic and operational level with a total of four lectures. Iris Beckmann-Schulz from the IQ specialist office for occupational German presented the language course formats in Germany, and Judith Hochstein presented the methodology and didactics of the language courses offered by GFBM gGmbH. On the Israeli side, Avri Polashek, educational director of the MTDB (Vocational Training Bureau), introduced Hebrew immersion programs for various target groups, and Yelena Pergament, for the Jewish Agency, introduced the process of integration of Jewish immigrants.

a woman is talking to four apprentices in kitchen workwear
Conversation with trainees of the Culinary School

At the end of the seminar day, the subject of vocational preparation in Germany was presented, whereby Ulrich Eberle from the Federal Employment Agency presented the programmatic and Anja Heinicke from the Chamber of Trade Potsdam commented on the operational level of the “perspective for young refugees” project (Perspektive für junge Flüchtlinge PerjuF) project that she leads.

During the second day of the seminar, on October 24, local projects were visited and questions could be exchanged directly with the Israeli practitioners. The Riyan Center of the Al-Fanar Program in the Arab Israeli town of Tira was presented by program manager Ella Eyal Bar-David as well as center managers Samah Heib-Jaljouli and Nibras Taha, who stem from the Arab-Israeli community. There are currently 21 such employment centers throughout Israel, offering pre-vocational training courses for Arab Israelis, particularly women.

Even the lunch break was used effectively to gain impressions of Israeli projects. In the successful project of the Culinary School in Tira, confectioners and cooks are trained, who had to prove their craft for the seminar participants.

a group of 20 people is visiting a metal workshop
Presentation of metal work at the Maltav vocational training center

In the afternoon, the Absorption Center Beit Brodetsky in Tel Aviv was visited. Here, Jewish immigrants can stay for the first 6 months after their arrival, learn Hebrew and get help for settling in. After the group was given an impression by Anat Carmel-Kagan and her colleague about the first time in Israel for the Jewish immigrants (Olim) after the Aliyah - the return of the Jewish people to Israel - three Olim presented their own personal stories. The most common migration in the history of Israel took place on this path. The immigration of approximately 1 million Jewish people from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s was the biggest integrative challenge for the small country.

The third and final day, on 25 October, started with the visit of the Maltav vocational training center in Holon, which was designed on the model of inter-company vocational training centers in Germany. The group was received by the center's manager, David Bonali, and visited training workshops in metal construction, construction, and fashion design. Immediately afterwards, the final discussion with Israeli participants of the MTDB and the German delegation took place in which the impressions and transfer possibilities were discussed.

Statements of seminar participants:

  "I was able to take with me a lot of personal and professional skills, also got lots of suggestions for the work in our project – keywords: role models, goal definition. Thank you for the great organization and this opportunity!" Angela Dovifat, Goldnetz gGmbH

 "Due to the interdisciplinary and institutional composition of the German delegation, there was the opportunity for an intensive and diverse exchange as well as for the selective analysis of the German grant administration. Overall, a high degree of networking!" Iris Beckmann-Schulz, passage gGmbH

 "In the course of the three-day seminar, we have gained valuable insights into the work of the various organizations through interesting and diverse lectures, discussions, workshops, and visits that have shown the professionalism in the structure of the integration of migrants and minorities into the working world in Israel." Frank Rogall, MTU

 "There is lots of information to pass on to colleagues and to the GFBM. I will try to get the participants of the measures that we implement more focused on short, target-oriented ways, especially the approach of real job opportunities, and to pay more attention to needs than wishes." Judith Hochstein, GFBM gGmbH


The presentations and results of the seminar can be downloaded here:

Program und Presentations

Background information about the labor market integration of disadvantaged groups in Israel and Germany

Topic: Language acquisition in Israel / integration of non-Hebrew speaking people

Topic: Language acquisition in Germany

Topic: Vocational preperation in Germany

Topic: Vocational preperation in Israel

Project Profiles

The project profiles in English include:

  • Vocational language course (Berufssprachkurs BSK 48)
  • Perspectives for young refugees (Perspektive für junge Flüchtlinge PerjuF)
  • Riyan Center
  • Absorption Center
  • Machina