Topic 2 Skills and job opportunities

The circular economy presents opportunities for the environment, the economy and society. It is therefore an essential vehicle for aligning existing efforts towards environmental, economic and social impact. As the circular economy puts forward new ways of creating value and relating to the world around us, the circular economy changes the world of work.

Jobs in the circular economy, in short ‘circular jobs’, are all jobs that contribute to one of the following strategies:

  • Core circular jobs: These jobs ensure that raw material cycles are closed and thus form the core of the circular economy. They include jobs in renewable energy, repair and waste and resource management sectors.
  • Enabling circular jobs: These jobs enable the acceleration and upscaling of core circular activities and thus form the supporting shell of the circular economy. They include jobs in leasing, engineering and digital technology – albeit only those that actually contribute to circularity.
  • Indirect circular jobs: These jobs provide services to the primary circular activities above and thus form the activities that indirectly uphold the circular economy. They include, for example, jobs in education, logistics and the public sector.

According to the “Circle Economy Organization” there is a framework called DISRUPT to identify some of the skills needed: Design – Incorporate – Sustain – Rethink – Use – Priorities – Team Up.

Watch this video that shows how the fashion industry is gradually shifting towards a circular economy:

Jobs in the Circular Economy are likely to involve a combination of more traditional skills, such as manual ones, and more novel circular skills, such as those in modular design and the analysis of material compositions. Soft skills for collaborating across sectors and service-related skills will be just as important as hard skills for programming, operating and repairing equipment. Skilling for the circular economy requires both practical and academic education pathways, across all fields of knowledge. Demand for skills and knowledge will also vary across sectors and stages of the transition.

By clicking here, you will be connected to a job search portal exclusively dedicated to the Circular Economy sector.