Israel: Histadrut and builders’ association to establish academy for construction and infrastructure professions

Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar-David, Israel Builders Association President Raul Srugo and Construction Workers Union-Histadrut Chairman Yitzhak Moyal reached an agreement amidst severe shortage of workers in the industry

The Histadrut and the Israel Builders’ Association announced their intention to jointly establish an academy for the construction and infrastructure professions. Histadrut Chairman Arnon Bar-David, Israel Builders’ Association President Raul Srugo and Construction Workers Union-Histadrut Chairman Yitzhak Moyal reached this agreement on 31 January 2022.

According to the organisations' announcement, the joint training body will provide the Israeli construction and infrastructure industry with professional workers in a long line of the fields of construction and construction management. The decision was made amidst lengthy discussions by representatives of the construction industry and the Histadrut on the urgent need for a rapid increase in the number of workers to meet what is currently required by the industry. According to the announcement, the organisations mainly discussed the need to create a broad professional reserve of Israeli workers for the industry in light of the expected jump in the volume of construction and the establishment of infrastructure in the coming years.

The Israel Builders’ Association estimates that more than 3,000 foremen and project managers are already currently absent in the industry, and that thousands of additional workers in the finishing and installation fields, and thousands of service providers for the industry in a wide range of fields, who are not currently available in Israel, will be required in the future.

The heads of the partner organisations determined that the academy will work in full cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, in order to optimally manage the planning of the vocational trainings and professional certifications.

Bar-David: "I welcome the cooperation between the Histadrut under my leadership and the Israel Builders’ Association for the benefit of the workers and contractors who are the main drivers of this large and important industry in Israel. The highlight is the plan that we presented today to establish an academy for the construction professions. In the coming days, we will start holding meetings to establish it quickly and efficiently."

Srugo: "This is a historic move that will prevent in the future a shortage of skilled Israeli workers in the construction and infrastructure industry, which is currently begging for tens of thousands of workers in various professions, and thousands of senior workers in management positions. The academy will be the melting pot for training in the industry. I sincerely hope that the Israeli government will allocate appropriate budgets for trainings in the academy, which will be the government's main arm for trainings in the industry. The construction industry will grow in the coming years. This step is necessary and required."

Moyal: "For years we have been engaged in promoting the construction professions in Israel through the Foundation for the Encouragement and Development of the Construction Industry. The industry serves as the engine of the Israeli economy. However, it suffers from a severe shortage of workers in all the professions. These are thousands of workers, engineers, practical engineers, foremen, crane operators, safety officers and surveyors, without whom we will not be able to reach the goals that Israel sets for itself. The construction professions should be treated as a required profession, just like medicine and science."