Senior execs: Huge shortage of high-tech engineersFeb. 16, 2016
The Ministry of Finance yesterday published a review stating, "The high-tech sector is no longer the growth engine of the Israeli economy." The review pointed to slower growth in the sector, which suffers from a shortage of trained personnel. Top Israeli executives reacted critically to the report but did admit that there is a lack of skilled high-tech professionals.
Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) co-chairmen Erez Tsur and Yaky Yanay said, "Despite what the Ministry of Finance report says, it is important to note that this does not involve venture capital-supported companies, and there is therefore no real reason to say that the high-tech and life sciences industry is no longer a growth engine for the Israeli economy. Entrepreneurship and innovation are flourishing in Israel. The industry accounts for 40% of Israel's exports, with exits and investment in high-tech companies hitting a peak in 2015. The local ecosystem currently has an unprecedented number of startups, together with large multinational firms. There is no doubt that the human capital and the entrepreneurial spirit are our real natural resources.
"As a policy-leading organization involved in legislation and regulation in the field, we find the government willing to listen to the industry's needs. At the same time, there is no doubt - there are many challenges before us. In order to maintain our status as a global leader in knowledge-intensive industry, we need to devise a long-term policy for addressing the sector's core problems, including encouragement of technological education, attracting multinational companies, encouraging investments by institutions, an attractive taxation policy, etc. We are encouraging the founding of a new authority for innovation, and are continuing our involvement in regulation, education, and business for the sake of making sure that our industry continues to power the entire Israeli economy as a whole in the coming decades."
Carmel Ventures, which is part of the Viola Group, expressed similar views. Senior partner Daniel Cohen said, "We believe that Israel is still a global leader in technological innovation, and it is evident that most global high-tech companies come here to look for brilliant technologies and excellent development teams. As far as the future is concerned, there is no doubt that the pool of personnel must be enlarged by investing in education and incentives for technological education. There is definitely room for improvement in these aspects."
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