80% of industrial plants short of workers

No fewer than 80% of the country’s industrial plants claim they are short of workers despite gross pay averaging NIS 12,000 a month, according to Zvi Oren, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. Speaking at a conference in Ashkelon on Sunday hosted by the Atid network of technology schools, Oren attributed the problem to the manufacturing sector’s poor image. Atid director general Amiel Gurewitz complained that technological education “is the education system’s backyard.” Oren said his association recently presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a plan to bolster technological education and that a pilot project is underway at Ramat Hovav for training of workers at plants in the industrial zone. ‏(Haim Bior‏)

Seculert raises $10m from venture funds

Seculert, a developer of cloud-based organizational cyber security systems, said yesterday it had raised $10 million in its second funding round for a total of $16 million to date. Leading the latest round were the U.S. venture capital funds Norwest Venture Partners, which also participated in the earlier round, and Sequoia Capital. Founded in 2010 by CEO Dudi Matot, Chief Operating Officer Alex Milstein, and Chief Technology Officer Aviv Raff, Seculert currently has 25 employees, most of them in Israel, and serves dozens of customers, mostly large firms in the U.S. and Europe in fields like finance, health services and education. Sequoia’s Gili Raanan joined Seculert’s board. ‏(Inbar Orpaz‏)

Histadrut launches drive to improve its image

The Histadrut labor federation is embarking on an advertising campaign costing millions of shekels in the next few weeks. Ostensibly aimed at encouraging workers to join its ranks, sources say another purpose is to shore up its image following scathing criticism recently leveled against the organization and its chairman, Ofer Eini, over its defense of powerful unions at the ports and the Israel Electric Corporation. On Sunday, Eini was about to threaten a general strike to fight the government’s plan for private seaports, but he put it on hold after being invited to a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ‏(Nati Tucker and Haim Bior‏)