Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 May 2019
Human resource development (HRD) approaches aim to increase service users’ labour market prospects through training and upskilling. However, research on activation policy implementation suggests that individualised, tailored measures may be difficult to implement because of organisational structures, standardised procedures, contradictory professional interests, and broad framework laws. This qualitative study explored the institutional framing of the Norwegian Qualification Programme and how that framing created barriers in service users’ trajectories towards labour market inclusion. The study applied a bottom-up perspective to analyse how these barriers are entangled in a multidimensional web of interrelated and sometimes contradictory relations. Highlighting the service users’ perspective, the study aimed to examine how institutional framing may interfere with the activation policy goal of qualifying service users for the labour market. The results point to how institutional framing governs local practice and creates barriers that ultimately may impede activation policy goals.