Why Flip Burgers When You Can Write Code? Israeli Teens Get Tech Summer Jobs

In light of the ongoing talent crunch in the Israeli tech sector, companies are attempting to utilize an untapped resource: their employees’ offspring, with some offering paid internship programs during the 10-week summer vacation

Maayan Manela 16:0214.08.19
Summer vacation is a time for teenagers to go to the beach, hang out at the mall, or clock in and make some extra cash. To do so, most opt for their local pizza place or burger joint, some sell ice cream or babysit, and others wake up at dawn to deliver newspapers to their neighbors. In Israel, some teens get up bright and early on summer weekdays and head out to the office for their very first tech job.


In light of the ongoing talent crunch in the Israeli tech sector, startups and established companies alike are trying to utilize an untapped resource: their employees’ bored teenagers. During the 10-week summer vacation, these companies offer paid internship programs.
A teen participating in Natural Intelligence's summer program. Photo: Yoel Rivelis A teen participating in Natural Intelligence's summer program. Photo: Yoel Rivelis
Tel Aviv-based online marketing company Natural Intelligence Ltd. employs 16 teens aged 14-17 for two to five days a week during the summer. These teens are paid in accordance with the state’s minimum wage laws according to their age and enjoy fully paid lunches and all the other office perks available to general employees.


The program gives teens practical experience in the workforce while providing the company with highly motivated temporary workers, Inbar Barnea, who heads Natural Intelligence’s summer program, said in a recent interview with Calcalist. The teens receive relevant training from a mentor before integrating into various departments including human resources, development, marketing, social media management, and analytics.


Gaya Zucker, 16, entered the program without any tech background and is now working in the quality assurance (QA) department. When she comes in every morning she goes through a bug list, fixing each through the website management platform. Zucker chose this position because many of her friends study computer sciences and show off their coding capabilities whenever they can, she said, adding she could not code at all at the beginning of the summer.

Teens in Tarya's program. Photo: PR Teens in Tarya's program. Photo: PR

Fifteen-year-old Guy Altman, who is also participating in the program, said his parents wanted him to get a summer job, and that he did not want to waste his time scooping ice cream like the rest of his friends. “That would have been boring and unchallenging,” he said.


Peer-to-peer (P2P) investment startup Tarya P2P Ltd. operates a similar program, employing 10 teens as summer workers. The company sees the program as a way to involve its future customers in shaping its product, Liav David, head of operations at Tarya, said in an interview with Calcalist. “Our summer jobs let teens get their first taste of the tech industry while taking into account their unique schedules and letting them enjoy their summer vacation with family and friends,” she said.
The summer program at Tel Aviv-based enterprise robotic process automation (RPA) startup Kryon Systems Ltd. helped the company fulfill tasks that its general staff just can’t get to, Michal Gershon Sobol, vice president of human resources at Kryon, said in an interview. In addition to payment, as mandatory by law, the 10 teens aged 14-18 also received pre-paid 10bis lunch cards, a popular tech job perk, allowing them to dine at almost any restaurant. Company merchandise, including bags and T-shirts, were also part of the package.


Mor Bar Noy, one of the participants in Kryon’s program, told Calcalist that the experience helped her better understand what her father does at work. “They treated me like any new worker and it gave me a chance to try my hand at a real tech job, she added.

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