Skip to main content


Qualification upgrade – a good strategy for increased job quality?

News | 25 May 2020 | Alf Tore Bergsli

In an article in Journal of Education and Work Tove Mogstad Aspøy explores the role competence upgrades may have in improving job quality in occupations characterized by poor working conditions. In light of institutional theory, the author discusses the reasoning behind the introduction of the certificate in cleaning. Why did one think that this could improve job quality in the profession?

Based on previous research on the cleaning profession, the author shows how the introduction of craft certificates in cleaning attempted to gain legitimacy from the education system, thus signaling sought-after expertise to both customers and potential workers.

The author argues that this strategy leaned on two key narratives in the knowledge community: that competence provides complexity and productivity, and that education provides job quality. In a tender-based market, however, this strategy had clear limitations.

Publisert: 25 May 2020