Mystery: Do they want to work or not?

Manpower Israel’s managing director says she has 25,000 haredi job seekers, but employers do not want them. L-M Manpower’s CEO says he has 1,500 jobs for haredim, but no demand

Haredim building synagogue Flash90Haredim building synagogue Flash90

What is preventing the circle of haredim who work for a living from growing? It depends on whom you ask. According to the website Kikar HaShabbat, the CEO of L-M Manpower, Rafi Elimelech, claims that his company offered 1,500 jobs to haredim, but they were unresponsive. “Two months ago a new supermarket opened in Bnei Brak and we were asked to provide about 100 workers, with a preference for haredim. Even after we asked the employment office for help, we managed to recruit only a handful of workers,” Elimelech said.

He added that in the past three months hundreds of employers have turned to the company in an effort to fill jobs for haredim. “The employers are willing to meet all of the conditions that haredim demand, but only two out of 500 jobs are accepted,” he said. Elimelech says the offers were for jobs in industry, customer service call centers, accounting, and hotels, at salaries that ranged from NIS 4,500 to NIS 12,000.

“From my long experience in recruiting haredi workers, I

only two out of 500 jobs are accepted

find that they simply prefer to register as avrechim, even if they do not intend to study, with the object of receiving the stipend from the state and then going to work ‘under the table’ without an invoice,” Elimelech charged.

But Orna Segal, the managing director at Manpower Israel, presents a different picture. She says that employers are the greatest impediment to employing haredim. Segal told Ma’ariv: “The employers are not sufficiently open to this population. Their block is largely psychological, and the situation is rougher for haredim who are also college graduates. Employers are convinced that they have to change the face of their workplace to bring in haredi workers.”

According to Segal, more than 25,000 haredi job seekers are registered with Manpower Israel. “In the past three years we succeeded in placing 3,000 haredim in the workforce, but demand on their part was far greater.” She stressed that the haredi population encompasses some 120,000 households, and integrating it into the job market will also lead to better integration in society.

For related info in Hebrew see Kikar Shabbat

and Maariv

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