The IW's Education, Immigration and Innovation competence area is researching how education and immigration contribute to securing skilled labor.
The experts scrutinise the educational system from early-childhood teaching, primary and secondary schools right up to tertiary education. The focus is on both monitoring educational processes and policy developments as well as issues of funding and fairness with respect to the education system. Our economists analyse the contribution of migration to securing a skilled workforce, examine the importance of workers qualified in STEM subjects (science, technology, electronics and mathematics) for a country’s innovation performance and investigate whether such workers are sufficiently available to the labour market. The unit identifies potential bottlenecks and suggests how these might be removed.
The experts in this unit work on requirements for an efficient and performance-oriented school system. Moreover, they analyse how pupils can develop appropriate competences to start a vocational training. To guarantee that all people in Germany have access to basic skills, the researchers engage in the project AlphaGrund. This project, amongst other things, develops and implements training and educational concepts to acquire basic skills at the workplace. Furthermore, the experts develop proposals concerning the funding of academic education. They analyse the effects of the Bologna-reform and provide research on the private sector’s involvement at German universities. Additionally, they compare the latest developments of the educational policy in the different German federal states. The results are published annually in the Bildungsmonitor (education monitor) which is based on established educational economics categories like educational equality and returns on education.
The economists analyse how migration contributes to securing the supply of skilled workers for the German economy. To encourage immigration to Germany, this unit develops and runs the Welcome Portal for foreign professionals Make it in Germany on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The multilingual website provides information on how foreign skilled professionals can successfully find their way to Germany – and what makes living and working here worth it.
The unit Innovation and STEM identifies the drivers of technological change as well as ways to increase their impact. Therefore, the research focuses for instance on the patent system and the governmental funding of research and development. Skilled professionals are particularly important for an economy’s innovative capacity. The German business model is based on export-oriented high-technology industries like mechanical engineering, vehicle manufacturing, electrical and chemistry industry. These industries employ a high number of qualified STEM workers. To ensure the future success of the German business model, it is important to secure the availability of such skilled workers. Within the framework of the initiative MINT-Zukunft schaffen (STEM- Shaping the future), the unit examines the availability and demand for STEM workers and investigate the labour market for engineers on behalf of the Association of German Engineers (VDI). As a result, the researchers develop measures for securing the supply of skilled workers in Germany.
The German labor market is on the verge of a fundamental upheaval. While the number of people in the labor force has risen steadily in recent decades, it is likely to drop significantly as soon as the baby boomers retire.
In order to be able to make well-founded statements on the state of integration, it must first be clarified what this should actually entail. From the Duden's definition of a "connection of a multiplicity of individual persons or groups to form a social and cultural unit (Duden, 2020)", three areas can be derived.
An analysis of the microcensus shows that in 2017, around 2.4 million children and adolescents in Germany lived in non-German-speaking households. This corresponds to 17.7 per cent of all minors (under the age of eighteen) and 47.0 per cent of those with a migration background (defined as having at least one parent not born a German citizen).
Germany has been making good progress towards achieving equality of opportunity in its education system. Latterly, however, it has become clear that the correlation between socio-economic background and educational success is again becoming more pronounced, a phenomenon which can be partly attributed to the high level of immigration in recent years.
Very little is yet known about the socio-economic aspects of internal migration, as migration statistics report merely age, sex, nationality and where the move was to and from. Only since the 2017 survey has the German microcensus included a compulsory question regarding place of residence the previous year, making it useful for studies on internal migration.