Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ)

The Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ) at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) conducts interdisciplinary and international comparative social science research in the fields of work and employment, social protection, education, and training. The distinctive feature of the Institute’s research profile is the combination of basic and applied research on the sustainable design and organisation of employment, wage, social protection, and education systems considered against the background of social and technological change. The IAQ is affiliated with multiple national and international researchers, research institutes and networks, and carries out projects with the support of national and international funding sources. The IAQ’s research provides support and advice for businesses, policymakers and civil society.

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Karen Jaehrling

Karen Jaehrling took her PhD in political science from the University of Hamburg (2003). She works as head of a research department at the Institute for Work, Skills and Training (Institut Arbeit und Qualifikation – IAQ), University of Duisburg-Essen.
Prior to joining the IAQ she worked at several projects within the Institute for Work and Technology (IAT), Gelsenkirchen, and had teaching assignments at the Universities of Bochum and Hamburg.
Her research interests are in the area of labour sociology, labour market and social policy and industrial relations, with a particular focus on the low-pay / low-skilled segments of the labour market. She gained expertise from a large number of national as well as international comparative projects, starting with an international comparative study on low wage work financed by the Russell Sage foundation (2003-2007). Her work also includes a series of projects financed by the European Commission (FP6, FP7, Horizon 2020, DG Employment).
 She has published extensively on public policies regarding wage and other dimensions of job quality, social benefits and active labour market schemes, and on employer strategies and industrial relations at the lower end of the pay scale. Recent publications include a number of articles on job quality, workplace characteristics and collective bargaining in low-skilled jobs in the current digital transformation (Jaehrling 2019; Jaehrling/ Kalina 2020, Jaehrling 2020 Gautié/Jaehrling/Perez 2020) and a monograph on the role of public procurement in setting and enforcing decent wages and working conditions (Jaehrling/Stiehm 2022).