Jerusalem24 – The Palestinian Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology has announced the launch of the Human Capital Improvement Stipends Program, a major component of the Technology for Youth and Jobs (TechStart) project which aims to increase the competitiveness of IT companies in the West Bank and Gaza.
TechStart is a Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MTIT) project funded by the World Bank and implemented by DAI Global. The project is geared at enhancing economic opportunities for IT service firms in the West Bank and Gaza through three major components which seek to improve IT services capabilities, develop the IT service ecosystem, and enhance market access, services, and investments in the IT sector.
The Human Capital Improvement Stipends Program (HCIS) will support skills development for the Palestinian IT service workforce through providing stipends for student internships, for graduates under train-to-hire window, for new IT professionals under on-the-job training window, and hiring international experts with relevant technical and managerial experience. The program will help IT firms – including tech and tech enabled startups – to upskill their workforce and scale up their business operations, increase growth opportunities, and attract new local and international clients.
H.E Dr. Ishaq Seder, Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, hailed the launch of the program: “This program is an important initiative that fulfills the Ministry’s mission of supporting Palestinian private sector resilience. The significance of the program stems from the fact that it aims to create job opportunities for recent graduates and to empower them with practical skills in their last years of study to respond to market demands. The program also targets Palestinian startups and IT services companies, widening the scope of potential beneficiaries and ensuring better inclusivity among different sector elements.”
Dr. Seder added: ‘’We value the collaboration between the public and private sectors in revitalizing the Palestinian economy and we view the IT sector as an important contributor to growth and prosperity. The TechStart project will help address many constraints faced by the IT sector. Our role will continue to guide and support the development of the local IT ecosystem to deliver high-level services and become competitive in international markets. We are grateful to the World Bank and the Dutch government for the support and the opportunity to invest in the capabilities of the Palestinian tech sector and accelerate its development.’’
The TechStart Project is one of many World Bank projects that have been designed as part of its strategy to support the faltering Palestinian economy and reinforce the transition into the digital economy. Mr. Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza said “The World Bank is proud to partner with the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology in supporting the development and growth of the Palestinian IT sector. The launch of the Human Capital Improvement Stipends will complement the academic learning of university graduates with practical skills that respond to market needs. It will also enable companies to offer on-the-job trainings of new IT workers that is customized to help advance business operations and expand revenue streams. The World Bank and its partners are committed to ensuring the Palestinian IT sector becomes one of the main generators of jobs for youth.”
Earlier last year, The Dutch Government announced their financial contribution to the TechStart project to facilitate the enhancement of skills in the Palestinian IT sector, This welcome support stems from their belief in youth development and the investment in human capital to improve the lives of the population as a whole, the majority of support will be utilized under the four stipend windows announced under the mentioned program.
The Human Capital Improvement Stipends program is one of many other programs aimed at improving the IT services capabilities, which will be launched subsequently under the Technology for Youth and Jobs (TechStart) Project.