PERLA - Mentoring and Professional Development Program for Unemployed Immigrants with Higher Education
The project PERLA - Mentoring and Professional Development Program for Unemployed Immigrants - is designed to change the situation of unemployed and under- employed professional immigrants in Israel. The project is aimed at providing a solution for the aforementioned obstacles that prevent immigrants from obtaining an appropriate employment in Israel, compatible with their education.
PERLA will provide an opportunity for career development and career change for immigrants, conducted in a professional, friendly, and result-oriented setting.
PERLA is designed for the population of immigrants from the FSU who have college and university degrees in various fields (engineers, architects and other professionals). Age is not a barrier (we accept unemployed and underemployed immigrants from the age of 25-60) and our main requirements are high motivation and a willingness to grow and develop professionally.
What is the mission and purpose of this program?
• To enhance equal employment opportunities by upgrading and re-directing the professional skills of immigrants.
• To advance the realization of each immigrant’s professional potential.
• To improve the immigrant’s socio–economic status by elevating their earning potential.
• To better utilize human capital to strengthen Israeli economy.
In the framework of the project we plan to train 125 immigrants from the FSU in a yearly program providing lectures, training, mentoring and additional services.
Based on our 18 years of experience in professional training, we expect that at least 80% percent of the participants will be employed after successful completion of the program.The fee for participants will be very affordable and consists of only a small portion of the tuition- mainly to signify personal commitment to the program. However, we require that participants commit for at least 60 hours of volunteering during the year after program graduation. The volunteering may consist of sharing their experience and new skills with program participants of the subsequent year and taking part in the center’s surveys. Any relevant initiative from volunteer will be welcomed and supported.
The project PERLA combines professional training with personal support and long-term mentoring for participants.
The project will be implemented in four cities: Haifa, Hadera, Bat-Yam and Ramat Gan.
The duration of the training program is one year. Each participant will receive 8 frontal teaching (lecturing) hours per week. In addition, participants are encouraged to practice new computer programs twice a week. Hebrew tutoring will be provided to each participant according to her or his needs.
Project stages and contents:
- Reaching-out, advertising and recruiting candidates.
- Designing a personal training plan – assessing each participant's previous relevant education, skills and experience and proficiency of the Hebrew language as well as counseling and creating a custom plan.
- Upgrading the level of Hebrew: With a particular focus on business and technology related aspects of the language and specific technical terminology.
- Upgrading computer an Internet skills.
- Training and re-training in engineering software: A special focus on immigrants who have engineering background in professions which are irrelevant in Israel will be on computer graphic engineering software to
enable them re-enter engineering work settings.
- Expanding necessary areas of knowledge of the Israeli professional sphere: Standardization, employment law, rights and duties of employees, pension plans etc.
- Providing practical tools for the process of finding employment: Group training on C.V. writing, job interviews, organizational behavior will be supplemented by individual consulting.
Classes will be conducted in groups of 25 participants, with additional hours of practice and tutoring according to the needs of each participant.
The program coordinator will continue to reach out to more potential employers (beside those who already collaborate with us) to direct program participants to job interviews and help immigrants expand their employment opportunities.The teachers and lecturers in the program are highly trained professionals, who have an extensive knowledge and experience in the Israeli job market. All lecturers are fluent in Hebrew, English and Russian so that participants can communicate with the lecturers in the language they are most comfortable with, aiding progress and personal development.
Finding a job that suits the experience and level of education of new immigrants in a new country is a very complex task.
New immigrants need to have proficiency not only in Hebrew and the professional terminology, but also in professional computer programs that are used by engineers in Israel, as well as to be familiar with the engineering standards and labor laws.
The absence of such proficiency and knowledge may stand in the way of immigrants
of getting a suitable job which may to unemployment and under- employment.
According to ministry of absorption survey from 2012, 43% immigrants from the former USSR are employed in jobs that are far below their qualifications! 29% are unemployed and only 28% work in their original professional field. Under-employment is even higher among women with higher education.
It is important to note that in the last few years has increased dramatically repatriation from Ukraine due to the hostilities. According to Ministry of Absorption survey from 2010 to 2014 immigrated from Ukraine 8692 of the working population of them 52.9% with higher education!!!
- Results on the personal level: Participants developed new practical and technical knowledge as well as personal and interpersonal skills required for working in Israeli labor market. 80% of the participants found employment compatible with their skills and education level. In addition, the immigrants improved their economic and social status and their sense of belonging to the Israeli society, while realizing their personal and professional potential.
- Results on the social-community level: The program graduates took an active role in helping and advancing other immigrants in the community. The majority of program graduates become volunteers in our organization which provides them the opportunity to help others and to network with the assistance of the Engineering Center.
Results on the economic-professional level: The successful entering of PERLA program graduates to the Israeli workforce contributed to the Israeli economy by reducing the percentage of unemployment and expanding the quality of the workforce.
How do you measure the success of your program?
Thanks to PERLA project which allows immigrants with higher education the realization of professional potential and employment opportunities in his field and at his level .
In 2015, we were able to improve training and re-training in engineering for the 100 immigrants with higher education, who have been unemployed and depressed morally and financially.
Tools that they have received - is the key to professional and career promotion and other social and professional level. Today - it is totally different people with happy eyes and confident ready to live and take root in Israel.
As part of the project PERLA this year we are planning to train 125 immigrants to enable them to find employment in their field and professional level.