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Research on innovative employment pathways for refugees in Israel

Updated: May 22

Project: Research on economic inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in Israel

Labor market assessment

Sector: Economic inclusion | Forced displacement

Partners: HIAS Israel & African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) Location: Israel

Date: June 2022 - June 2023

Credits: HIAS Israel.


Mindset-PCS was commissioned by HIAS and African Refugee Development Center to conduct a comprehensive labor market assessment to identify unexplored, new or adapted economic inclusion pathways for refugees and asylum seekers in Israel.

This study builds upon previous research and programmatic efforts on economic inclusion in Israel, while examining potential new or adapted approaches. It placed a particular emphasis on uncovering the pathways, actors, and approaches that might not be so easily identified through conventional research and programming. It reviewed existing work, engaged traditional actors, explored existing models and perspectives, but also delved into the "silent corners" or complementary channels to uncover new or adapted ideas. This required a flexible methodology. A combination of structured, semi-structured, and informal methods were used to capture the perspectives of the following targeted audiences.

Through a combination of targeted surveys, focus-group discussions (FGD), interviews with stakeholders, and informal engagement methods, a total of 197 community members were reached; as well as 47 organizations and unaffiliated experts working with the refugee community in Israel; 44 industry representatives across 9 key industries (i.e. hotel, restaurant, construction, retail/wholesales, agriculture, healthcare, high tech including remote channels, transportation, and industrial sector and trade work); 25 other relevant actors in Israel; and 9 international actors. A total of 125 interviews were conducted with entities. This collected data was supported by a comprehensive literature.

The research report was organized around 5 core parts (in addition to the introduction and contextualization section):

  • Part I: Legal and socio-economic overview of the refugee community in Israel

  • Part II: Labor market analysis

  • Part III: Barriers and enablers to economic inclusion

  • Part IV: Economic inclusion pathways and sectoral opportunities

  • Part V: Holistic recommendations to tackle root causes of economic inclusion of refugees in Israel

Some key findings:

  • The research evidences the potential of refugees to bolster the Israeli labor market and contribute to the country's economy.

  • The labor assessment finds specific “niche” opportunities and entry points in seven industries, namely healthcare, hotel industry, the high tech industry, remote work opportunities (most of them under the high tech sector), the retail industry, the food and restaurant industry, and the transportation industry.

  • The research offers 10 systemic recommendations to holistically tackle the barriers and root causes of economic exclusion.


“As director of HIAS Israel I have worked with several consultants over the years on various projects. I can wholeheartedly say that Mindset-PCS is one of the most professional, competent and innovative consulting companies we worked with.” Sivan Carmel, Director, HIAS Israel.

Our opinion:

One year of working on identifying innovative employment pathways for #refugees in Israel culminated in a great event where we were able to share the findings of our research with amazing actors.

✅ This research created a fantastic momentum for new cross-sectoral partnerships for refugee #economicinclusion

✅ Many companies are genuinely interested in integrating refugees into their work - or at a minimum, to learn more.

✅ Many actors not traditionally working with refugees are also interested in building new professional development avenues for refugees.

✅ There are many champions out there - in places we would not necessarily expect - with whom we need to work to 1) change the refugee narrative in Israel; 2) bring more sectors, companies, and people onboard; and 3) open new professional doors.

✅ The research came up with a lot of interesting, innovative findings that we must now turn into concrete activities. Let's move forward together!


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