Israel’s war with Hamas has costed the Benjamin Netanyahu government a severe labor shortage, following which the West Asian nation has turned to India. Responding to this need, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has begun a one-week recruitment drive at the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Aliganj.
Israel plans to recruit tens of thousands of Indians at a time when Palestinians, who have long played a crucial role in Israeli construction and other sectors, are being barred from the country.
According to a Times of India report, over seven days, the Israeli team in Uttar Pradesh is set to test at least 4,600 candidates for jobs that include bending, masoning, tilers, and shuttering carpenters.
The ToI report quoted an Indian government official who informed me that the process of employing construction workers in Israel was being taken care of by NSDC International, an agency working under the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship from India and Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA), Israel.
The report details the PIBA’s schedule. This includes testing of skills of
-629 workers from Agra, Kanpur, and Lucknow were done on 23 January
-585 workers from Azamgarh and Banda divisions were examined on 24 January
-563 workers from Bareilly, Jhansi, Noida, Moradabad, and Devipatan divisions will be tested on 25 January
-656 workers from Varanasi, Mirzapur, Meerut, and Ghaziabad on 27 January
-877 workers of Gorakhpur division on 28
-739 workers of Ayodhya and Saharanpur divisions on 29
-603 workers of Aligarh, Basti, and Prayagraj divisions on 30
Earlier this month, Israeli officials conducted a similar drive in Haryana. An official from Haryana Kaushal Rozgar Nigam Limited, one of the state government agencies overseeing the recruitment drive, told Al Jazeera that an average of 500–600 applicants were interviewed every day during the weeklong recruitment drive in Rohtak.
In October, Israeli construction companies reportedly requested their government in Tel Aviv to allow them to hire up to 100,000 Indian workers to replace Palestinians whose work licences were suspended after the Gaza offensive began.
Even before the Gaza war, Israel and India signed an agreement in May 2023 that would send 42,000 Indian construction and nursing workers to Israel, according to comments by former Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen in the Israeli parliament.
Advertisements for recruitment across India show salaries ranging from ₹116409 to ₹141354 per month. Roughly 17,000 Indian workers now reside in Israel, mostly employed in nursing, according to local Indian media and Israeli officials.
Israel delved into a severe labor shortage after many foreign workers, notably thousands from Thailand, headed home because of Tel Aviv’s airstrike campaign in Gaza that has killed 25,000 Palestinians in over 100 days.
Israeli authorities say they are hoping to see 10,000 to 20,000 Indian migrant workers in the coming months, The Washington Post reports. That would be equal to the total number of foreign workers that entered the country through bilateral agreements in 2021, according to Israel’s Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI).
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)