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Training for Circularity: Upskilling, reskilling, mobility and job creation

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Executive Summary

Lead contributor: Chrysostomos Adamides
The Circular Economy (CE) offers an operational pathway to grow out of the linear economy and achieve economic growth, while ensuring prosperity for the people and the wellbeing of the planet. At its core, CE is a systemic change that needs to be applied in all processes and value cycles and by all stakeholders in the economy. Given this premise, the chapter examines the anticipated disruption in the labor market, as we move from the traditional linear economy towards a CE. Increasingly, new skills and competences will have to support the narrowing, slowing, and closing of the resource loops. Continuous upskilling and reskilling of the workforce is needed to leave no one behind and ensure an inclusive and just transition. In this respect, we consider the need for a lifelong learning system and the significance of vocational education and training to provide pathways to continuous upskilling and reskilling programs. Emphasis is given on developing the basic elements of a proposed framework to facilitate closing the gap between the present skills of the workforce and the future skills needed. 

In addition, the chapter looks at the significant role organizations can play in developing a skilled and innovative workforce and the link with organizational transformation and developing a competitive advantage. The chapter outlines practical guidelines for developing a workforce strategy based on CE principles. The aim is to align the organizational objectives with the interests and ambitions of the employees and contribute to developing a learning culture. Organizations can attract and retain talent and maintain a skilled and motivated workforce with this approach. The workforce can solve Circular Economy challenges and create a competitive advantage for the organization. 

Throughout the chapter, selected best practices are presented to highlight the application of the framework and guidelines and support the diffusion of practical experiences and knowledge.

Policymakers and professionals at all levels will appreciate the enormous challenges facing the workforce in the transition to CE and the need to take proactive measures to mitigate the impact. In this respect, they will enhance their understanding of the latest trends in the labor market, the expected shift in the working landscape and the impact on jobs and skills needed. The need to close the skills gap to ensure an inclusive and just transition to CE and maintain economic competitiveness will become apparent. Ultimately, they will expand their perspective on the components required to develop the skills and competences of the workforce.

The upskilling and reskilling efforts are related to SDG 4, aiming to promote training, education and lifelong learning systems and SDG 8, aiming to provide decent jobs and drive economic growth. More broadly, however, the development of skills also lays the foundation for the realization of all other SDGs.

How you will learn?

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Discover what's inside

Why is upskilling and reskilling the workforce urgent?

Discover now the necessity, importance and urgency due to the convergence of disruptive megatrends to upskill and reskill the current and future workforce to be able to accelerate the transition into a Circular Economy.

Is a disruption in the labour market coming?

Learn more now on the anticipated disruption in the labour market due to the transition to the Circular Economy, from the perspective of the shift in jobs, the new emerging job roles, and the future skills in demand.

Which are the future Skills in demand?

Explore here in full and accurate details how the latest literature findings on the future skills in demand are put forward with a breakdown between the circular, transversal and digital skills needed for the transition to a Circular Economy.

Can we close the skills gap?

Discover now how you can develop a basic, yet crucial and essential elements of a well structured framework to support closing the skills gap between the present skills of the workforce and the future skills in demand.

How do we close the skills gap?

Discover here the important elements including the need for lifelong learning, the importance of vocational education and training and new collaborative governance models with selected real-life examples that are presented to illuminate practical application of the framework.

What are the Drivers to the Circular Economy?

Find out here the role of learning and skills development as essential drivers to the Circular Economy by enhancing the potential of the workforce to identify innovative circular solutions and support a new mindset and cultural framework.

What is the role of organisations?

Explore here the significant and vital role organisations play in the development of a competent, skilled and innovative workforce. In addition, discover now the link and connection between workforce skills development, competitive advantage and driving cultural changes.

How can an organisation develop the Workforce?

Get access to clear and practical guidelines that serve as essential action points for the development of a practical workforce strategy aiming to align the organisational objectives and the goals, ambitions, and interests of the workforce.

Meet the Leader

Meet the leaders supporting the Certification program!

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Enrollment Information

  • Once you have enrolled, you will be given access to our Learning Management System.
  • The course is entirely online and self-paced. We estimate that the total effort required to be 3 hours.
  • You will be guided through the original content of the course with dynamic, rich, enjoyable, narrated, and easy-to-understand content. The course is divided into easily navigated sections focusing at each stage on the learning objectives to be achieved. Each section is followed by non-graded “knowledge check questions”, to help you ensure that you have successfully assimilated the content. You can go back and view the content as often as you like.
  • When you reach the end of the course, you will be awarded the Certificate of Completion.

What you will gain

  • Access to one Circular Economy course, with free access to the content for one year.
  • A digitally enabled, verifiable, and shareable certificate acknowledging your achievement.
  • One-year free membership in the Circular Economy Alliance Community, including access to Circular Economy Alliance members, resources, and events.
  • Special access to Circular Economy related events, research, resources, and news.

Please note:

  • In many EU countries, the cost of certification can be covered by personal or corporate “training accounts”. Please inquire within your organization or with the appropriate institution within your country for more information.


Circular Economy Alliance Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics

The Circular Economy Alliance platform, services, and products are designed to appeal to and be used by people from a wide variety of different backgrounds, countries, religions, and cultural norms. These diversity and inclusiveness are core values of the CEA, and we encourage our Community to embrace it and share it. That said, this geographic and cultural diversity can make effective communications and general policy definition a bit challenging.

That said, CEA is committed to advancing the transition to a just and inclusive Circular Economy which aims to decouple economic growth from resource use, eliminate waste by design, and tackle climate change. To achieve its mission and vision of a socially fair Circular Economy, CEA has adopted the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and endeavours to promote the common good while creating value for all stakeholders. With this in mind, the Code of Conduct has been developed to ensure all activity on the platform and within the CEA community is mutually respectful. The Code of Ethics sets out the guiding ethical principles relative to all professional activities of the certified members of the Circular Economy Alliance, informs the actions of our partner network, and defines the conduct of CEA staff and persons acting on behalf of the Company.

The purpose of our Code of Conduct & Code of Ethics is to ensure that the Circular Economy Alliance platform (the Platform), products and services are inclusive and that we, our members, and our community uphold the principles and values linked to Circular Economy, social responsibility, sustainable development and all relevant domains, to ensure that people and the planet are not harmed in the name of profit, and that we all conduct ourselves with mutual respect.

Code of Conduct

The CEA Code of Conduct reflects the ethics and values of the Platform, product, services, and community. It has been prepared with members of the CEA community (the Community), content contributors, instructional designers, and administrators based on established best practices. With the involvement of our stakeholders, we will continue to update the Code of Conduct as we add new products, services, and activities and as we receive feedback from our learners and community members.

We cannot foresee all eventualities and align with all local regulations, so the Code of Conduct should indicate the nature of interactions and the social dynamic we would like to see on this Platform and within the Community. In the event of an issue not covered by this Code of Conduct, the CEA team will decide whether a behavior is acceptable or not, in a manner that is as fair and transparent as possible, while respecting the confidentiality of all involved.

This Code of Conduct applies to all activities on the Talent Learning Management Platform, the Circular Economy Alliance website, its social media pages (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Discord, etc.), including comments, forum posts, and private messages.

Certified Alumni, members of the Community, as well as candidates for Circular Economy certification are encouraged to adopt the following guidelines for conduct:

  • Contribute to maintaining a safe, supportive, and orderly online learning environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect and dignity to other persons and to property.
  • Contact or communicate with CEA administrators and other personnel in a respectful, positive manner.
  • Behave and communicate on and off the Platform in accordance with the principles of Circular Economy, social responsibility, and inclusiveness.
  • Help ensure all CEA members and personnel have a positive experience in all interactions with you.
  • Appropriate behavior we encourage is as follows: communicating and interacting with respect; demonstrating empathy and sensitivity; giving constructive feedback; acting in accordance with the principles of inclusiveness, that is, showing respect for other norms, cultures, life preferences; promoting the values and principles of Circular Economy, social responsibility, and sustainable development.
  • Maintain behavior free from all forms of bullying, harassment, and discrimination.
  • Other forms of inappropriate behavior that will not be tolerated include dangerous, inciteful, or hateful speech; harassment or intimidation; threats of violence; intentional disruption of online discussion, webinars, conference, or other events; retaliation; influencing or encouraging any of the above.
  • We are a learning community, united around the principles of Circular Economy. As such, we encourage experimentation, a growth mindset, and tolerance for failures, mistakes, or lack of understanding.
  • Despite our shared values, disagreements and misunderstandings are bound to occur in a community as diverse as the Community. In the event, have a calm discussion, ask for clarification, and don’t assume that someone is intentionally being offensive.
  • Please get in touch with the site administrators to report any conduct, posts, activity or content that you do not believe is in accordance with this Code of Conduct. We encourage the Community members to report any incidents that violate the Code of Conduct. The CEA team will respond in a timely manner, and the member who violated the Code of Conduct will be contacted directly. Please use the Contact Us link to report any breaches.
  • Please protect your own and other people’s privacy. Please be mindful not to post or otherwise share your own or other people’s personal information publicly online.
  • Unless otherwise stated, all content posted on the Talent Learning Management System is private and is not searchable online.
  • Unless otherwise stated, all content posted on the Community platform is publicly visible and searchable online.
  • If you delete your CEA Community account, you can request that your Community posts and private messages be removed or anonymized.
  • The website administrators may delete activity, comments, posts, and equivalent that do not adhere to the CEA Code of Conduct.
  • In the event of a breach of the Code of Conduct, we either issue a warning, announce an account suspension or, in the event of a grievous violation, we may announce account expulsion and removal from the platform and the Community.
  • If you are part of the Community, we share the same principles. Let’s share the responsibility for creating a positive dynamic on the Platform.

Code of Ethics 

Certified Alumni, members of the Community, as well as candidates for Circular Economy certification are strongly encouraged to uphold the highest standards of ethical norms in line with Circular Economy principles and values:

  • Act with transparency, honesty, integrity, and make the interests of society and the environment a priority, avoid any known conflicts of interest, and aim to create value for all stakeholders.
  • Promote the circularity and sustainability of the systems regulating economic life according to the principles of “people, planet and prosperity”.
  • Act with respect for others and the environment and practice their professional activities in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner that upholds the values of equity, equality and tolerance.
  • Exercise their leadership and decision-making skills in the pursuit of establishing a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and in society.
  • Act in a way that furthers the integrity of the discipline of Circular Economy and its representatives.

The code of conduct is regularly reviewed to reflect necessary adaptations that emerge from input received through our CEA members’ reporting or by changes to the prevailing regulatory framework.

Effective as of: 1 March 2022

Last revised: 28 February 2022

More detailed information can me found in the General Terms and Conditions and the Certifications Terms and Conditions.


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