Circular economy training pilot projects

The circular economy will not be built without skilful professionals. Sitra’s call for funding for circular economy training pilot projects is open for vocational institutions and lifelong learning providers from 1 February to 30 March 2021.

What is it about?

The transformation of the economy towards a carbon-neutral circular economy is already underway and will only continue to accelerate. The change concerns all of us, as the circular economy will change work and related competence needs. New jobs will be created, some jobs will disappear and the content of many jobs will change.

Vocational education and lifelong learning in particular need new solutions, allowing professionals in different sectors to apply the principles of a carbon-neutral circular economy to their own work.

However, we do not yet know precisely what kind of expertise will be needed in different occupations, at different educational levels and in circular economy processes, or what would be the best way to teach these skills.

In order to answer these questions, Sitra is opening a call for funding for vocational institutions and lifelong learning parties. Our aim is to increase expertise in a carbon-neutral circular economy in the technology, chemical and construction sectors.

The chosen sectors play a significant role in Finland’s employment and they have considerable circular economy potential. The chosen sectors can contribute to tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, and they have all already taken steps towards a carbon-neutral circular economy with the low-carbon road maps they have prepared, for example.

We are looking for training projects that:

  1.  identify a specific competence need relating to a carbon-neutral circular economy and a solution idea with which the competence need can be met plausibly in new ways;
  2. are realised together with other educational institutions, businesses, the public sector, municipal organisations or other relevant parties;
  3. offer an opportunity to be continuously applied and provide lessons learned that can be extensively disseminated to other educational institutions, for example.

How to get involved?

The call for funding is open for vocational institutions and organisations that offer lifelong learning content, such as universities, colleges and other similar parties. The application period is from 1 February to 31 March 2021.

The project can, for example, be a new course on the circular economy at a vocational institution, a package of supplementary training for a specific professional group, an experiment carried out in co-operation with businesses or innovative educational materials.

The maximum amount of funding is EUR 200,000 per chosen applicant. The aim is to select one to three applicants from each sector included in the project, the technology sector, chemical industry and construction industry. The amount of aid granted by Sitra is 100 per cent of all of the funding of the project, so no personal contribution is required.

Applications are submitted using an electronic application form. Experts from Sitra and the trade union and industry federations representing the industries will select the projects to be funded by 30 April 2021.

Read more about applying and the selection criteria.


February-March 2021
Call for funding

The call for funding is open for vocational institutions and organisations that offer lifelong learning content, such as universities, colleges and other similar parties. We will arrange three information webinars for interested applicants, with experts answering questions concerning the call for funding.

April 2021

The applications will be assessed in a two-phase application process. The choices will be made by experts from Sitra and the organisations involved. Read more about the application process and selection criteria. The projects to be funded will be selected by 30 April 2021.

May-June 2021
Project and funding plans

The chosen project will further specify their project plans. The project plans and funding plans will be reviewed during May and June 2021.

July 2021-March 2022
Circular economy training pilot projects

Circular economy training pilot projects The projects will be implemented during autumn 2021 and winter 2022. The projects must be completed by 31 March 2022.

April-June 2022
Final reports

The final reports on the projects will be returned by 29 April 2022. Sitra will prepare a summary of the training pilot projects in which the lessons learned from the development of circular economy expertise will be shared for everyone to use.

With whom?

Sitra’s experts have co-operated with representatives of the following organisations in the preparation phase of the call for funding: Trade Union Pro, the Finnish Association for the Development of Vocational Education and Training AMKE, the Union of Professional Engineers in Finland, the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK, Technology Finland, Industrial Union, the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers RIL, the Finnish Construction Trade Union and the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT.

The vocational institutions and lifelong learning providers to be chosen in the spring of 2021 will be responsible for the implementation of the training pilot projects.

Read more

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