Social Sciences

The research team at the Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ) has consolidated its profile in labour market and educational research. It has been responsible for supplying interested parties at various levels with data analysis,background information, consultation and other information on key issues of the economic, social and education agenda in Germany. These include demographic change and its effects on the labour market, companies and social protection systems, the expansion of the low-wage sector, developments in working hours, the weakening of collective pay agreements, and the effects of labour market reform.
One of the highlights in 2008 was the presentation of a study sponsored by the American Russell Sage Foundation entitled “Low-Wage Employment in Europe – Opportunities in the Workplace”. In the space of a decade, the number of low-wage earners in Germany has risen from 15 to 22.2 percent, or a total of 6.5 million. The low-wage sector in Germany already just topped the British level in 2005 – and only fell a little short of the USA. In France the figure is half the size, and it is even lower in Denmark.
In 2020, over 13 percent of employees in German companies will be aged between 50 and 65, as opposed to just 9.4 percent in 2000. Aging workforces are becoming a problem for HR bosses, since the simultaneous drop in birth rates means that there is a dearth of young, qualified people. In the “Demografische Wandel und Prävention in der IT” [Demographic Change and Prevention in IT] project, conducted in cooperation with the Institut für Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung (ISF München) and Büro Moderne Arbeitszeiten (Dortmund), the IAQ is investigating how the health of employees in the IT sector and their ability to work can be promoted and preserved throughout their working life.
A Federal Government pilot programme entitled “Perspektive 50plus – Beschäftigungspakte in den Regionen”, which aims to improve the employment opportunities of the over 50s, is being evaluated by the IAQ on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS). Evaluation began at the beginning of 2008 and will run until mid-2011.
Integrated services for children and families – for example in relation to Family Centres and social early warning systems – are top of the current political agenda. The IAQ is working on concepts relating to the labour market for flexible childcare (development of local models, international comparisons), quality management, organisational development and management at the interface between school, occupation and further education. The institute has now embarked on a project under the name of “Benchmarking in Kindertageseinrichtungen: Wertschöpfung durch Wertschätzung”, which picks up on themes relating to organisational development and prepares statistics based on a survey of 10,000 daycare centres for children.