Research Questions and Project Foci

Less-educated persons have the highest unemployment risk today. One explanation for it frequently heard in politics, the media, and even from the ranks of the scientific community is that (1) the number of jobs for less-educated workers has decreased and will continue to decrease, and that (2) in the situation of job shortage, less-educated workers are forced out of the labor market because they are less well qualified. The underlying cause of unemployment among less-educated persons thus seems to have been clearly identified: it is their lack of qualifications. Hence, the acquirement of vocational qualifications seems to be a fitting solution to this problem.
This explanation has two major shortcomings. First, it only addresses the question of what is to be done about less-educated youth when their lack of qualifications is already a reality. Second, it reduces the problem to a single dimension, namely qualifications. It overlooks (1) the question of why, even today, there are less-educated youth in Germany, and (2) the fact that selection on the basis of formal qualifications is not a natural law, but the result of social action. Therefore, the work of the Research Group is focused on:
(1) Why are there less-edcuated youth and who are they?
(2) Long-term consequences of the lack of training in young adulthood

Beyond these research foci, the research results will help to specify the significance of education in society and on the labor market, and will further the exploration of the interrelations between the labor market and other domains of life.