The checkout counter at the supermarket, accounting and finances, personal banking services, production activities in factories and even medical services in certain areas – this assortment of jobs and many more, will disappear or change radically within a decade. According to different research studies, development in the present technological era will produce fundamental changes in the job market to the extent that professionals in certain areas will be replaced by computerized and robotic systems and, in parallel, the need for technological professions that can meet the growing need in this field will increase.
From a systemic perspective looking to the future, State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman continues implementing constructive audit reform in line with national objectives. In this framework, teams from the Office of the State Comptroller are conducting an all-inclusive – “360” – check of the readiness of various government ministries for the changing labor market and the actions being taken by the government ministries to train the young generation and adapt the skills of those employed today to the new era.
State Comptroller Englman believes that to get a complete audit picture and to improve the work of government ministries and prepare them for the future challenges and risks, the activities of government ministries and public authorities must be examined multidimensionally – 360 – and from different audit angles.
The audit examines the coordination and integration among different government ministries – the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, the IDF and the Israel security establishment, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services, the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Israel Innovation Authority, the Ministry of Social Equality and others. The examination checks whether processes are being implemented from a holistic perspective, looking to the future, and that put the emphasis on populations worthy of being promoted.
Within the framework of the audit, the audit team is examining, among other aspects, the preparedness of the education system, including long-term strategic planning and fitting of curricula and matriculation exams to technological changes and changing skill requirements. This audit also examines the various reforms in the education system and whether they prepare students for the changing labor market.
Further, the audit checks whether the physical learning environment is suited to innovating learning, whether the study spaces are appropriate for up-to-date learning methods, whether schools have a learning environment equipped with technological aids and digital means for teaching knowledge areas, and for students to practice and study independently.
The audit teams have distributed questionnaires and conducted focus groups with teachers and students to learn firsthand about what is happening in these areas.
In this context, the audit even examines whether assorted required competences, such as twenty-first century skills, digital capabilities and the knowledge of English, are being taught to students throughout the education system, including non-matriculation technological study tracks (e.g., students learning car mechanics today must have a knowledge of computers and English to fix a motor or deal with technological components in cars and motorcycles).
The audit also checks the readiness of the IDF and the security establishment to increase the number of soldiers in the IDF undergoing training in the areas of software development, with the emphasis on high quality training and exposing soldiers nearing the end of their service to the job opportunities open to them in high tech.
The audit examines the interministerial planning processes for increasing human resources for high-tech industries, starting with the education system, through military training and higher education (State Comptroller Englman is recused from examining the Council for Higher Education (CHE)). Likewise, the audit is checking the professional and technological training arrangements for adults (over the age of 18) and the actions being taken by the government to encourage adults to acquire skills suitable for the technological changes, and for lifelong learning, to stay relevant to the labor market.
This audit is being conducted within the framework of an international work group, with the participation of state audit institutions from a range of countries, among which are Finland, South Korea, the European Union, Bulgaria and others, led by the Israel State Comptroller – testimony to this subject’s national strategic importance.