Bennett: “Students need to develop soft skills to cope with the job market”

| 1st January 2019

Erez Buganim, co-owner of Synel Group, the founder and the chairman of Eleventh Club and the leading CEOs club of the largest companies in the economy hosted a summit meeting of dozens of CEOs and senior executives from the Israeli economy last week. The meeting was held at the Meat Kitchen restaurant in Tel Aviv and hosted by the Minister of Communications, Ayub Kara the Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett and Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked.

Among the CEOs and senior executives who participated in the event: Itzik Zaig, who recently retired from Osem’s CEO job, Rafi Swede, the owner and CEO of Moked Amun; Avi Cohen, Eroka’s CEO; Ilan Birnfeld, CEO of Deloitte Israel; Miri Engelman, CEO of 3M, Itamar Carasenti, CEO of Tro, Dr. Etty Groveld, CEO of Achva College, Boaz Vaxman, controlling shareholder of Ophir Tours, Gil Sapir, CEO of Shirbit, Meir Keenan, CEO of Renaissance Hotel in Tel Aviv, Dudi Ashkenazi, CEO of the Grand Hotel chain; Achishi Gal, CEO of ISTA; Michael Dayan, CEO of Ashot Ashkelon; Nadav Harari, CEO of Chemobil; Roni Schwartz, CEO of Aminach, Shahar Ben Mubharah Kahana, CEO of Tiv and Taam, Rami Arusi, Co-CEO of TellAll; Amnon Merhav, who for the past five years served as CEO of Jerusalem Municipality and recently announced retirement, Haim Glick, CEO of Rishon Lezion Municipality; Avi Ben Hamo, CEO of Netanya Municipality; Dr. Mali Danino, CEO of Nitzan; Shulamit Geri, Vice President of Administration and Finance at the Weizmann Institute; and Dr. Pinhas Haliva, CEO of Ashkelon Academic College.

Buganim who led the event asked Minister Bennett how the Ministry of Education intended to address digital challenges such as artificial intelligence and robotics that would affect both manual labor and white-collar workers’ employment and cause many jobs to disappear.

Bennett replied: “This is perhaps our biggest challenge, we don’t know what the future will look like. What we probably understand is that 50% of the existing professions that are familiar to a child entering first grade today will no longer be familiar to him when he enters the job market. There will be no people at a gas station, there will be no taxi drivers, we will need fewer mechanics because of the autonomous vehicle, fewer cashiers at the supermarket, bank officials, bookkeepers, etc. Anything with a lack of automation capability will be automated, but there are softer worlds where people, especially in the realm of humans, Human to human, such as a psychologist, teacher, and technologist in the field of technological development. ”

He added that “until a few years ago, Israeli schools were essentially the same as those of 120-130 years ago – a teacher who stands and lectures bored children, at that time obedient  disciplined graduates were raised to do what they were told, this was the need in the era of big factories and production lines. Today is the exact opposite. Every one of us remembers that his teacher told him something like: ‘Naftali, did you do your homework alone?’ and, God forbid if you said you did the lessons with someone else. Today the right answer is: ‘Yes, we did it as a team, I didn’t do it alone, don’t worry today any serious work involves teamwork. ”

“The graduate of the future will be a creative smart and well-versed person in math’s and English,” Bennett noted. “All Israeli children need 4 or 5 units in English, not all Israeli children need 5 units of mathematics but there can be no child in the State of Israel without good English. One facet is the basic skills, the languages ​​- maths the English language, the software language, and the Hebrew language and of course the second aspect is the soft skills, like teamwork and creativity and the third is a value based on respect for one another, respect for teachers the love of our country, tolerance and more.

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