The Minister of Economy closes the Circle Fund: The fate of training thousands of workers is unknown

Minister of Economy Orna Barbibai Has finally decided to close the activities of the Circles Fund. The fund, which is intended to provide training in professions that are considered difficult, still has NIS 230 million left, and the surpluses will be transferred to the Treasury. The agreement with the fund, which was signed for a period of ten years, will not be extended.

The closure decision was made in coordination with Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Barbibai is from Lapid’s Yesh Atid party).

A battle for the rest of the money in the coffers: Circles is coming to an end

Among other things, there is talk of continuing its operation for a transitional period until it completes the commitments that have already been given to the professional training of thousands of employees. The President of the Manufacturers, Dr. Ron Tomer, sent a letter in this spirit to Barbibai.

The chairman of the Histadrut, Arnon Bar-David, and the chairman of the presidency of the business sector, Dubi Amitai, were scheduled to meet this weekend with the Minister of Economy and convince her of the fund’s continued need. Despite this, a senior official in the Ministry of Economy surprisingly announced the cancellation of the meeting, after she claimed that the required data on the activities of the Circles Fund and the way in which the funds were spent were not provided.

Dubi Amitai, Chairman of the Business Sector Presidency (Photo: Business Sector Spokeswoman)

Amitai said in response to Maariv: “I was personally hurt by the cancellation of the meeting, a notice given through a clerk. The fund’s activities cannot be stopped unilaterally.

He added that “I have a critique of how to run a circle fund. Things have been done there that I cannot go over to the agenda. Nevertheless, it is important to ensure the future of thousands of workers who are supposed to undergo professional training. I want to believe there was a misunderstanding here.”

The Circles Foundation, established a decade ago, has been run in recent years by Yaffa Vygotsky, who has become the dominant figure in the organization. The fund’s activities have been criticized in the past by various sources, including the State Comptroller.

Yaffa Vigodsky (Photo: Aloni Moore)Yaffa Vigodsky (Photo: Aloni Moore)

The Circles Fund said in response: “The fund has trained tens of thousands of workers over the years, who thanks to retraining and upgrading courses have been able to remain in the work circle until retirement age. The corona crisis has strengthened the need to help underprivileged professionals.

“We urge the Minister of Economy to make a leadership decision and order an extension of the agreement period in order to complete the training for employees and the commitments to the various colleges. Otherwise, these will be abandoned to market forces and ejected from the labor force. Israel is not allowed to close its eyes.

The Office of the Minister of Economy and Industry stated: “The Circles Fund was established for a decade to address the raising of the retirement age in the economy, through training for workers in abrasive occupations.


Source: Maariv.co.il – כלכלה בארץ by www.maariv.co.il.

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