Competence Map

Addressing skill needs for the circular economy transition in the public transport sector

The CE4CE Competence Map aims to identify and represent the skills, expertise, capabilities, and knowledge required across various functions and roles for the successful introduction and implementation of circular economy principles in public transport. The competence map is based on the 10 principles of the circular economy and follows the different threads detailed in the CE4CE circularity compass.

The transition to a circular economy is not merely a shift in economic models but also a transformation that impacts employment and necessitates the development of new skills. As policy initiatives like the European Green Deal drive this transition forward, understanding the skill needs and challenges becomes imperative. The CE4CE Knowledge Platform explores the evolving landscape of skills required for the circular economy, and matches them with tools, resources, best practices, webinar recordings and training materials to help experts acquire the necessary knowledge for up- and reskilling of the public transport sector in Central Europe.

Impact of policy initiatives on employment

In 2021, forecasts indicated that the adoption of the European Green Deal would not only spur employment growth, but also generate approximately 2.5 million new jobs. Bachus, author of a chapter in 'The Circular Economy and Green Jobs in the EU and Beyond', highlights the positive employment outcomes and emphasizes the need for upskilling workers to meet the demands of circularity.

Challenges in skill development

Despite the projected growth in employment, challenges persist in defining and comprehensively assessing the skills required for circularity. The European Economic and Social Committee's study “Europe’s Circular Economy and its Pact for Skills: working together for an inclusive and job-rich transition?” published in 2023 identifies constraints such as the lack of clear definitions and comprehensive data on skill needs, hindering effective skill development strategies.

Interdependency of circular economy and digitalization

The interplay between the circular economy and digitalization underscores the need for cross-cutting skills. As highlighted by the OECD working paper (2020) , skills required for circularity often align with those driven by digitalization, emphasizing the importance of a cohesive approach to skill development. Green skills, often synonymous with skills for sustainability, are increasingly crucial in the digitalization of the public transport sector. These skills are essential for compliance with environmental regulations and for reducing energy use and reaching energy efficiency.  

Upskilling vs. Reskilling

Evidence suggests that most green jobs require upskilling rather than reskilling, indicating a need to build upon existing skill sets.This emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and adaptation to meet the evolving demands of the circular economy in different sectors such as public transport.

Policy implications and data needs

Effective policymaking in skill development requires robust data on skill needs and trends. Harmonized statistics on skills for circularity, regularly disseminated through platforms like Eurostat, are essential for informed decision-making and monitoring progress towards circularity goals.

As the circular economy transition gains momentum, addressing skill needs becomes paramount for ensuring a smooth and inclusive transition. By understanding the evolving landscape of skills and implementing targeted strategies for upskilling, policymakers and stakeholders can navigate the challenges and unlock the full potential of the circular economy. Improved skills can be acquired through trainings, knowledge and exchange offered within our Knowledge Platform. You will find here a wide range of tools, resources, best practices, webinar recordings and training materials we will be publishing on the platform throughout the lifetime of our project. To stay tuned, please register to our newsletter to receive timely notifications on new learning materials published on the platform.