Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ)

The Institute for Work, Skills and Training conducts interdisciplinary and international comparative research with a special focus on employment and the labour market, welfare systems, education and childcare. Based on its primarily empirical research, the IAQ provides support and advice to policymakers, administration, associations and business, develops the evidence base for important decision-making, and evaluates various political and company programmes. The IAQ researchers are members of various expert commissions and are frequently invited to hearings of the German Bundestag.

A highlight of research at the IAQ is the EU collaborative project “Quality of Jobs and Innovation Generated Employment Outcomes” (QuInnE), which looks at the relationship between innovation, the quality of work, and employment. It explores which conditions and mechanisms facilitate a mutually reinforcing, productive relationship between innovation and job quality that can ultimately help to create “more and better jobs”. Another highlight of 2018 at the IAQ was conclusion of the “Work 4.0. Work in and on the industry of the future” research project, in which four IAQ researchers investigated the approach to digitalisation processes in companies and organisations over a good two-year period. Both projects are part of an IAQ research priority on digitalisation and Industry 4.0, which it intends to intensify in the future.

Another project completed in 2018 was “Comparable Worth”, which set out to explore the role of job evaluation as a “blindspot” in gender pay gap analysis. In the project, the “Comparable Worth Index” was developed on the basis of an employment survey conducted by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA). Analysis using the CW Index and multivariate calculations based on the structure of earnings survey show that female-dominated professions – measured on demands and workload – are often associated with low pay. There appears to be a systematic devaluation of “female professions” in the job evaluation methods that has hitherto not been reflected in conventional scientific study of the gender pay gap.

In a research project on “Cooperation of actors of preventive social policy – an analysis based on the example of the career orientation of adolescent refugees”, insights were gathered on integration of young refugees through education as well as on local cooperation. The findings attracted a lot of interest among the expert public and inspired various follow-up projects, including on scientific evaluation of the regional initiative for young adult refugees, in which 66 communes will take part.

The IAQ is also involved in the “Evaluation of refugee-related measures”, which analyses the full range of measures and initiatives to promote employment. Within the research consortium coordinated by the Institute of Labour Economics in Bonn (IZA), the IAQ has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) to manage analysis of how the measures are implemented by employment agencies and job centres.

The IAQ is always keen to ensure that research findings are also accessible to practitioners and the general public. It does this through regular press releases as well as brief summaries of its research in the “IAQ Report” and “IAQ Standpunkt” publications. The “Sozialpolitik aktuell” information portal additionally offers a comprehensive collection of infographics and tables on social policy and social conditions in Germany. The resource includes the latest scientific reports and opinions, laws and legal revisions in the field of social and welfare policy.