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Human Capital Improvement Stipends (HCIS)

“Human Capital Improvement Stipends” Program Overview

Part of the TechStart project Component I, the “Human Capital Improvement Stipends” (HCIS) Program will help upgrade the skills of the Palestinian IT service workforce through provision of stipends for: (a) internships for students in the last 2 years of studies; (b) train-to-hire for IT graduates; (c) on-the-job training for recently hired IT professionals; (d) international workers with relevant technical and managerial skills to cover additional costs of hiring international workers to be employed in senior and/or leadership roles in West Bank and Gaza.

The “Human Capital Improvement Stipends” Program focuses on helping IT firms (including tech and tech enabled startups) that need to skill up the workforce to scale up their business, increase their opportunities to growth, attract new local and international clients.

Student internship stipends will be available to students in the last 2 years of their university studies

Train-to-hire stipends will be available to university graduates who need to gain knowledge and practical skills in mid-level or advanced-level value added IT services.

The On-the-job training stipends will help cover the remuneration of new IT staff who need to gain knowledge and practical skills in mid-level or advanced-level value added IT services that cannot be found easily in the Palestinian labor force but are essential to being hired for new IT services projects with international buyers, based on a letter of intent / soft contract with international buyer.

The Expatriate stipends will support international staff, with senior technological expertise or leadership experience, to work with Palestinian IT services firms to build the technical and managerial capacity of their workforce.

The four stipend windows only cover mid-level and advanced-level skills/ technologies. All stipends under the HCIS program will be paid directly to the individual beneficiaries. No payments will be made to the applicant firm in the form of reimbursement for salaries or any other benefits.

Additionally, IT firms benefiting from support under this subcomponent are fully responsible for deducting the full income tax based on the base salary for the individual beneficiaries and making the required income tax payments to the local tax authority. All employments under this subcomponent must be compliant with the local labor and tax laws.

Technical assistance can be provided to eligible companies that lack the staff or skills to design and manage the student internship or train-to hire programs.

A summary table of the Human Capital Improvement Stipends Program is presented below. Please refer to each window for details and specific eligibility and selection criteria.

* There are additional eligibility and selection criteria. Please refer to each window eligibility and selection criteria.

** IT firms must submit a declaration that each proposed trainee included in their application does not have a local full-time employment contract at the time of submitting the application.

*** For train-to-hire stipend window, the co-financing percentage will depend on the financial situation of the firm, growth potential, and business proposals. Smaller firms (less than 20 full time employees) and firms that are located in Gaza will benefit from lower co-financing requirements. For women trainees, the company will need to contribute only 20 percent to 30 percent to the train-to-hire program stipends.


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