The report revealed several deficiencies in government programs, noting that some of the projects are not ready for implementation, sufficient oversight has not been established for the initiative, and in some cases not all budgets allocated for the different programs have been utilized. But why they were not utilized will probably surprise you.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
Government programs for helping the haredi population integrate into the workforce are insufficient and inefficient says a report by the State Comptroller that will shortly [be] released.
The report revealed several deficiencies in government programs, noting that some of the projects are not ready for implementation, sufficient oversight has not been established for the initiative, and in some cases not all budgets allocated for the different programs have been utilised.
State Control Committee chairman Amnon Cohen of Shas said that the findings showed that the government was guilty for the “lack of [haredi] integration into the work force due to contempt, bureaucracy and laziness,” and that claims made by Finance Minister Yair Lapid on the issue were false in light of the report’s conclusions.…
One example highlighted by the report was the allocation by the Treasury of a special fund for financing special study programs for haredim from 2005 to 2008. In 2008, only 50 percent of the funds were used, while at the same time, requests by academic institutions to establish courses for haredim were not approved.…
But what the Post and Shas' Cohen don't tell you is that many haredi leaders opposed those programs and often wanted them ended.
They also do not tell you that in 2008, the year cited by the Post in its example, the Ministry for the Economy and Trade, then called the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, was under the control of Eli Yishai – the head of the Sefardi haredi Shas Party that Cohen is a member of. Yishai controlled that ministry from May 2006 through March of 2009 – the vast majority of the time that program was in place. It was Yishai who mishandled it.
In other words, a haredi minister chose not to allocate those funds, almost certainly at the direction of haredi rabbinic leaders.
The cost of this footdragging (a lot of haredi footdragging) to the economy is billions of shekels per year:
Many haredi men over the past 35 years have chosen to study full time in yeshiva rather than perform military service and subsequently join the workforce. According to Treasury calculations, the cost to the Israeli economy in 2009 of haredim postponing employment until above the age of 31 was NIS 4 billion.
The Post says the comptroller's report also notes that getting haredim into the workforce "is a socio-economic mission of national importance, but the picture that arises indicates that progress in dealing with it is slight and slow."Indeed.