The Starter Apprenticeship Programme (2016) is aimed at unemployed adults and low-paid workers. It addresses a need to expand Israel’s VET offer, and to embed work-based learning in vocational programmes. The programme also aims to support employers by targeting sectors of the economy with a high need for skills. In the first stage of the programme, apprentices spend 6-8 weeks undertaking theoretical and practical studies in the classroom. For the following 4-7 months, participants spend 3 days per week at a college and 3 days per week in the workplace. The curriculum is designed through collaboration between employers and the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and Social Services. At the end of the programme, participants take official certification examinations designed by the Ministry, and receive formal credentials. According to government sources, many trainees go on to work for the employer they were placed with for training.

The OECD has noted employers’ enthusiasm for the programme, as well as positive results from evaluations of the pilot phase. Candidates pass a screening test, and participants receive mentoring and basic skills training. However, the review also noted that the stipend participants receive in the first stage of the programme was below the minimum wage. This could discourage participation from those from low-income backgrounds. The OECD recommended using findings from evaluations to expand and systematically develop the programme. In addition, the number of participants in the programme remains relatively small.

Further reading: Kuczera, M., T. Bastianić and S. Field (2018[6]), Apprenticeship and Vocational Education and Training in Israel, OECD,

Israel’s Early Childhood Council was established in law in 2017 and began its activities in 2019. It brings together representatives from different government departments and ECEC experts from different fields to develop a comprehensive national approach to the care of children aged 0-6. One of its core functions is to promote co-ordination and co-operation between these actors to better identify and support children and families at risk, and to support the goal of reducing child poverty. The Council also produces guidance on the evaluation of ECEC provision and on training for ECEC professionals. In 2019, the Council began working on a three-year national plan for ECEC, based on an assessment of existing provision. The plan aims to puts the needs of children at the centre, and defines responses to their needs through three circles of support: parents and family; community; and education and care frameworks. It defines how these needs will be met by different bodies, and how the response will be co-ordinated. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council examined the impact of the pandemic on early childhood provision and organised talks with practitioners to gain insights. The lessons learnt from the crisis will be used to update and finalise the Council’s three-year plan. However, Israel has faced some challenges ensuring adequate funding for the initiatives in the Council’s three-year plan.

Further reading: Ministry of Education of Israel (n.d.[7]), The Early Childhood Council, (accessed on 1 April 2021).


Kuczera, M., T. Bastianić and S. Field (2018), Apprenticeship and Vocational Education and Training in Israel, OECD, [6]

Ministry of Education of Israel (n.d.), The Early Childhood Council, (accessed on 1 April 2021). [7]

OECD (2020), Learning remotely when schools close: How well are students and schools prepared? Insights from PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, [2]

OECD (2020), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume II): Teachers and School Leaders as Valued Professionals, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris, [1]

OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results (Volume II): Where All Students Can Succeed, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, [4]

OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results (Volume III): What School Life Means for Students’ Lives, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, [5]

OECD (2019), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I): Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris, [3]

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