Faculty of Humanities

Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ)

The Institute for Work, Skills and Training conducts comparative interdisciplinary and international research with a particular focus on employment, welfare systems and education. Its research is divided into four divisions: “Labour Market – Integration – Mobility” (AIM), “Working Time and Work Organisation” (AZAO), “Education and Training in Structural Change” (BEST) and “Flexibility and Security” (FLEX). The Institute is renowned for combining research of both a basic and applied nature. Indeed, it has facilitated extensive experiences with evaluations of different data sets, not to mention the design, implementation and evaluation of both questionnaires and qualitative surveys. The IAQ is involved in domestic and international research networks, and carries out projects with the support of funding from sponsors the world over. Based on its primarily empirical research, the Institute supports and advises on policy, management, associations, and the economy, establishes fundamental decision criteria, and evaluates various political and organisational programmes. Researchers at the IAQ are members of a whole host of expert commissions and are frequently invited to hearings at the German Bundestag. As of April 2016, the Managing Director of the IAQ is Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer.

The DFG-funded project on “Representing interests in national and transnational areas of action: corporate restructuring and the problem with articulating interests” investigates the interplay and coordination processes between different institutions and those involved in representing interests in international groups. Similarly, in yet another project funded by the DFG – “Public procurement as a new arena of industrial relations” – the question is examined as to the extent to which the state has the potential to influence the working conditions of employees of contracted companies – for example, the consideration of social criteria when awarding contracts.

EU funding has been crucial to the successful completion of two projects on the subjects of “Precarious work and social dialogue” (involving collaborators from Denmark, France, the UK, Slovenia and Spain) and “Innovative social and employment policies for inclusive and resilient labour markets in Europe” (incorporating teams from twelve different countries). As for the ongoing cooperative project on “Quality and innovative outcomes” (QUINNE), which unites partners from France, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Hungary, the interplay between innovation, quality of work, and employment takes centre stage. Its aim is to investigate under which conditions and via which mechanisms innovation capacity and workplace quality can be mutually supported in a productive way, thereby contributing to “more and better jobs”. Both the QUINNE project and the study on “Work 4.0” supported by the Böckler Foundation form part of an ongoing research focus of the IAQ on the subject of digitisation and Industry 4.0, which is set to be strengthened further in the future.

Recent years have also seen the completion of a number of cooperative projects funded by the BMBF. In 2016, a research project was carried out on the working conditions, competence requirements and cognitive abilities of employees in the field of hand luggage and passenger controls at airports (DEFAKTOS – in cooperation with the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Ochs Consulting, Recklinghausen). Other ongoing BMBF projects focus on questions such as study success and the drop-out rates of students on dual courses, as well as the development, testing and dissemination of concepts and methods to strengthen their practice-oriented skills for the future, which are designed to improve the psycho-social health resources of employees in the metal and electrical sector.

The IAQ’s research results are published in relevant peer-reviewed journals and monographs. Great care is taken to ensure they are also accessible to practitioners and the general public in the form of regular press releases as well as brief summaries in the “IAQ Report” and “IAW Standpunkt” publications. In addition, the “Sozialpolitik aktuell” information portal offers a comprehensive collection of infographics and tables on the subject of social policy and conditions in Germany. This resource also includes accessible daily updates on scientifically accurate reports and statements, laws, and legal revisions in the field of social and welfare policy. The expertise of IAQ members with regard to scientific research is reiterated further still during the reporting period by their appointment to high-ranking scientific advisory bodies. Ute Klammer, for example, was reappointed to the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs in 2015 and to the Social Advisory Board of the Federal Government in 2016. More locally, she was also tasked with running the “Preventative Social Policy” department at the Research Institute for Social Development (FGW), Düsseldorf, by the State Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research for NRW. Similarly, Claudia Weinkopf was appointed scientific advisor to the German Minimum Wage Commission at the start of 2015.