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Circular economy skill development for working life

Project
01.04.2024 - 31.05.2027
Business School, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

Funders

Main funder

Circular economy skill development for working life funder logo

The project is funded by Just Transition Fund (JTF). The project is implemented by University of Eastern Finland.

The main activity of the project at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) is to design and implement a completely new type of micro credentials based on the EU Council Recommendation (2022/C 243/02) about the circular economy for people in companies, unemployed, young people and university students (about 35 credits). The result is a research-based, flexible circular economy micro-credential that supports continuous learning and equips learners with the skills needed for a just transition to a more sustainable economy and society. During the project, we will pilot the key courses of the module, study methods, and learning paths, and test the compatibility of the courses with social and business studies.

The project targets people in employment, the unemployed, young people and university degree students. We will build into the curriculum pathways tailored to different target groups for complementary studies in circular economy skills. These pathways will be implemented in the UEF Open University, in degree courses and in continuing education at different levels. All the project’s teaching and business cooperation activities will be structured in cooperation with industry, thus supporting the integration of education and training into the needs of modernisation in the world of work. The project will continue to build on the circular economy knowledge developed by the CICAT2025 project implemented by the working group members, as well as on the business cooperation approaches developed by XX projects at the level of individual modules and modules. Companies will be able to use the training as a quality indicator of circular economy skills, for example in HR accounting reporting.

The need for the project has come from industry, regional development and the EU, which has repeatedly highlighted the skills gap in the area of equitable sustainability transition and circular economy. Business representatives have expressed their commitment to the project both in North Savo and North Karelia.

The project will result in a permanent university offering a flexible modular circular economy microcredentials for open university provision, continued education and degree courses. The project will also result in an open test of circular economy skills for the needs of business and individuals. The project will add the development of business-oriented circular economy skills to UEF’s educational offer. Other Finnish universities and higher education institutions, or European universities, do not offer microcredentials of circular economy skills where learning is focused on short courses and modules.

The project will provide industry, young people and consumer citizens with a large amount of up-to-date research-based knowledge on the sustainable circular economy in a multi-channel and accessible way. The project promotes the capacity of companies in the region to operate in national and global value chains and to develop national and regional circular economy ecosystems. The project will ensure that businesses are able to meet the new demands of the sustainability transition to develop skills for the unemployed, young people and workers and sustainable business and production. All training content will be delivered in both Finnish and English. The project will strengthen the long-term and profound interaction between working life and education by increasing the employment opportunities for both domestic and international students, and by supporting close cooperation between the university and working life in North Savo and North Karelia.

In line with the University of Eastern Finland’s strategy, the project contributes to building a responsible and sustainable future by providing education in a flexible way that meets the demands of modern society.

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