DG Environment has recently released a report where it investigates the possible impacts on employment and skills of a transition to a more circular economy. DG Environment has built on Cedefop Skills Forecast framework in order to assess how various circular economy activities across different sectors can influence the demand for skills and jobs comparing the results of this exercise to Cedefop Skills Forecast baseline scenario.
The impact of circular economy policies is overall found to be positive contributing to a reduction of the negative impacts on the environment while increasing the employment levels at the same time. In particular, more than 700 000 jobs are expected to be created in comparison to the Cedefop baseline scenario. These will be stemming from the additional demand for recycling plants, repair services and savings from collaborative actions. The bottom-line of this work is that it is possible to achieve both resource efficiency and job creation at the same time. Nevertheless, some sectors will gain employment (e.g. recycling and repair sectors) from this shift while others are expected to lose (e.g. raw materials). At the same time, the results may be more positive for some countries (e.g. Central and Eastern European countries) than others. In terms of skills, even though no shifts are expected towards any skills end, the transition to a circular economy brings about the importance of transversal skills as jobs will be evolving and workers will need to be adopting. A summary of Cedefop baseline results can be found here.