The sensitivity of markets and political regulations to greater environmental and climate protection, coupled with a rethinking of global delivery chains, has created a significant demand for experts in the circular economy. That’s why, together with partners from Italy, Finland and Estonia, myclimate is developing a pilot course for "Junior experts in the circular economy". The goal of the one-year course is to supply the economy with experts who can help initiate and/or develop circular concepts.
The course is geared towards young people between the ages of 18 and 24 with school-leaving or apprenticeship qualifications. It will build bridges between technical expertise, business skills and creative thinking, and give participants practical preparation for the challenges of the circular economy. The course is being financed by the innovation consortium EIT Raw Materials. The course is already accredited in accordance with Italy’s IFTS standard. This also means credits gained from completion of the course are valid for transfers into Switzerland’s vocational education system.
Course participants are trained to become experts in sustainability and circularity with regard to industrial business processes; that is, individuals with interdisciplinary skills, which can be applied in a variety of professional contexts: in SMEs or large corporations operating in the fields of mechanics or mechatronics, in the automotive, household appliance, foodstuffs or ceramic sectors, whose processes are particularly energy intensive or harmful to the environment; or in consultancy firms that focus on sustainability and the circular economy and offer specialist services to companies wishing to make their production systems more efficient and sustainable.
To this end, we are looking for partner businesses, who want to share their experience and requirements and help define the goals of the course. In addition, partners will offer course participants the opportunity to apply what they have learned as part of a two-month work placement. During the placement, each student will develop an individual project for their company that relates to the topics of the course. The project will be evaluated as part of the final examination.
These "junior experts in the circular economy" will take on the role of moderators for process innovations relating to the circular economy. They will be in a position to:
- Manage a company’s quality system, including quality control for products and processes.
- Evaluate the impacts of the company’s operations on the ecosystem as well as providing guidance around implementing and promoting strategies for environmental protection, saving energy and occupational health and safety.
- Describe the potential and opportunities presented by the circular economy for contributing to sustainable development.
- Evaluate contributions to optimising processes, products and services with regard to their suitability for integration into the circular economy.
- Evaluate the lifecycles of processes and products in order to reduce their impact on the environment.
- Use project management tools, in particular with regard to projects and interventions, to improve the sustainability of industrial processes.
- Operate within a work group, adjusting tone and method of communication where appropriate to guarantee a cooperative outcome.
In Switzerland, the associations swisscleantech and öbu have already pledged their support. If you are interested in this programme, please register here.