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Pathways to Inclusive Labour Markets (PILLARS)

Pathways to Inclusive Labour Markets (PILLARS) is a joint research project by an international consortium of highly renowned scholars, co-led by Professor Simon Wiederhold (Chair of Economics, especially Macroeconomics). With funding from the European Commission under the framework of Horizon 2020, PILLARS aims at providing a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamics that shape the future of work in the European Union. For this purpose, PILLARS examines past, present, and future developments on the labour market related to automation, globalization, and structural change, thereby contributing to the development of inclusive labour market policies.


  • Sponsor: European Commission (European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, Grant Agreement No 101004703)
  • Project period: January 2021 – December 2023

Research Focus and Tasks

The research tasks led by Professor Simon Wiederhold at the Chair of Economics, especially Macroeconomics, will focus on the question whether the education and training systems across European countries prepare workers adequately for the labour market. To the extent that a mismatch between the skills possessed by workers and those required by employers exists, we want to understand to what extent automation, global value chains, and industrial transformations are responsible for it. Another aim of our research in PILLARS is to investigate whether certain regions/countries in Europe are better able than others to endow workers with the skills that modern labor markets require, to derive implications what policy-makers could do to help workers to adapt to changing skill demands and to remain employable.

Specifically, we will address the following questions:

  1. What are the skills provided by the education system (skill supply), the skills required by employers (skill demand), and what is the mismatch between skill supply and demand?
  2. Did regions which underwent technological change at a more rapid pace or which were more strongly exposed to trade shocks also suffer from a higher degree of skill mismatch or was the education system able to cope with the changing skill demands?
  3. What are the consequences of skill mismatch in terms of employment, wages, and job mobility?
  4. How do technological change, global value chains, and industrial transformation affect the occupational structure in the European Union? Which role do country-specific institutional features play?
  5. How can training be designed to help workers to acquire the (digital) skills needed at the workplace? In particular, how do the elderly cope with the challenges induced by technological change?

Team Members at the KU Einchstätt-Ingolstadt

Mitarbeitende Pillars Projekt
© Photogenika, www.photogenika.de
© Christina Langer
© Yuchen Guo


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