Evaluation of labour quality often takes place through terms “high-quality” and “low-quality” labour that are usually easily understood from context. And though it is acceptable in real practice, we should underline that high-quality labour is abilities of a labour person that are adequate to technological requirements of modern social production, and low-quality labour that does not have any special characteristics, cannot exist at all. Therefore, it is necessary to form an index of labour quality that will describe level of correspondence between labour and technological requirements of modern production at individual and social level (totality of labour).
Let us refer to theory and practice of managing commodity quality. Index of quality (for commodities) in quality management is understood as quantitative characteristic of one or several characteristics of commodity that are included into its quality, studied in application to certain conditions of its production and exploitation (consumption) . At the same time each commodity has their specific nomenclature and indexes that depend on its purpose, conditions of its production and exploitation, and many other factors. Nomenclature of indexes if finally formed at the stage of designing a commodity, as at this moment they are put into the construction. Then, at the step of production these indexes find their realization. At the stage of exploitation (consumption) indexes become individual characteristics of a commodity, outline it in a line of its analogues, form its consumer characteristics and, therefore, make it attractive and competitive.
Quality of labour as a commodity at labour market depends not only on its exploitation characteristics of quality (basic consumer value), but also on a whole line of other consumer values that describe labour quality directly or indirectly. In this context all consumer values can be conditionally classified according to several categories that differ from each other in temporal factors of action: “basic” and “additional”. The latter include “constant”, “temporal”, “attending”, “included” values. Therefore, quality of labour can be studied as a function of totality, formed of labour values, or sum of them.
Basic values are consumer values that are put into content of labour at the stage of design and characterized by exploitation indexes of quality that include indexes of purpose (functional): education level, professional structure of education, social-professional mobility of individual, and also totality of labour on the whole. The listed indexes describe quality of labour during the its whole life cycle. They can improve, change, but their initial structure remains unaltered. These indexes define basic consumer value of an individual that serves as a foundation of comparing them to their competitors.
Additional values do cannot alter basic quality of labour, put into it in process of design, but strengthen or develop abilities of an individual (as well as totality of labour) in selection or employment (or in analysing structural quality of total labour), and it results in growth of consumer value of recruited workers. These values include constant, temporal, attending, and added consumer values that enrich basic indexes of labour quality.
Constant values are such additional consumer values that stay in force during the whole professional life cycle of a worker, but have an indirect relation to basic values. For example, professional image, prestige of educational institution, certificate, documents of qualification improvement or re-training, popularity of the former places of employment, etc. These values have different ratings. Their influence upon an employer allows for increase in consumer value of a recruited worker. In certain case influence of these values only can provide a long period of professional life for an individual, even if their basic indexes are exceeded by competitors. Professional image of a worker (popularity, fame, etc.), for example, can serve as a signature of a popular artist.
Temporal values are additional values that have a direct relation to the look and quality of labour, but have a temporal period of action, sometimes during a season, and usually act not as long as life cycle of an individual does. They are defined by conjuncture of market. As a rule, these values allow an individual to sustain a high demand for their labour at a certain market segment.
Attending values are additional consumer values that are not related to labour quality directly, but can simplify or complicate conditions of its obtaining or exploitation: condition labour market infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, etc. the attending values can provide for increase in labour market demand or its decrease.
Added values are informational values: advertisement, exhibitions, contests that have no direct or indirect relation with quality of labour, but through repeating information on values that relate to labour quality, can increase its value in the eyes of many employers. Added values can include rumors, opinions, life quality. Influence of added values can be temporal (for example, advertisement of certain professions) or constant (social traditions) .
Further we suggest formulating content of labour quality index that will evaluate objectively traits and characteristics of labour that can meet “current” and “planned” technological needs of modern production.
Evaluating presence of certain characteristics and traits (knowledge and experience) of a person, that are required for efficient activity in a given professional area, index of competence level is used. In Latin “competens” is translated as fit, suitable, able, aware . In translated context general competence of a person characterizes their ability to carry out real, live action, and in its professional aspect it represents qualification characteristic of an individual’s ability to transform live labour (their workforce) into materialized labour (product) in terms of modern production. Competence shows presence of potential readiness of an individual to solve problems with their knowledge of trade, including substantial (knowledge) and procedural (skills) components, and implies constant update of knowledge, information, required for successful implementation of it in the changing professional environment , in other words, possession of operative (current technological needs of production) and mobile (planned technological needs of production) skills.
Thus, professional competence of an individual is possessing the corresponding competences (totality of corresponding competences) that include their personal attitude towards them or action subject that form its basic values (exploitation indexes).
In competence approach towards evaluating labour quality a profession defines what competences must a person possess or what professional area of their competences is. As a result, we can state that labour is of high quality if its competence meets current and planned technological requirements of production, and degree of satisfaction defines quality level of labour, in other words, the higher level of satisfying production requirements is, the higher is quality of labour. Therefore, a professional area can accurately formulate its requirements (indexes) towards quality of labour (composition and structure of competence or set of competences), and problem of an individual is to recombine their knowledge and skills in definite competences that are required in current professional area. So, psychological foundation of professional competence is one’s readiness for constant change through improving their qualification and developing their professional skills, in other words, an individual who do not develop, will never possess a high-quality labour. Therefore, any professional competence implies constant urge for improvement, obtaining new knowledge and skills, enriching professional activity. Improving competence, or professionalism of an individual is the necessary condition of increase in labour quality for modern production, as it is defined now only by current technological requirements of production, but also planned, future aspects, directed towards modernization, novelties, and change.
So, according to the information, provided above, we come to the following conclusions: first of all, evaluating labour quality must facilitate competence approach and index of competence that include a set of competences of labour-person; secondly, level of labour quality is defined by degree of satisfying current and planned technological requirements of production.
The work is submitted to the International Scientific Conference “Education and science without borders”, October 31 – November 5, 2017, Germany (Munich), came to the editorial office оn 14.08.2017.