Participants of the course will be able to work in:

  • SMEs and large companies in the construction, industrial, sustainability, and manufacturing (mechanics, mechatronics, automotive, agri-food, ceramics, etc.) areas.
  • Companies and consultancy firms working in international contexts and with international partners and clients.
  • Positions that demand highly-demanded skills in product evaluation, high environmental impact production processes, and sustainability analysis.

Coursework will require 22 to 26 hours every week.

A Junior Expert in Circular Economy is a higher technician that can play the role of “ facilitator” for innovation processes in relation to circular economy. He or she are able to:

  • Manage a company’s quality system and quality control of product and process.
  • Assess the impact of business performance on the ecosystem, implementing and promoting policies for environmental protection, energy saving and health and safety policies at workplace.
  • Describe the potential and ways in which circular economy contributes to sustainable development.
  • Contribute to optimize processes, products and services with regard to their potential for circularity.
  • Evaluate industrial processes and products in relation to their life cycle in order to reduce their environmental impact.
  • Apply project management tools, particularly in relation to project and intervention increasing the sustainability of industrial processes.
  • Understand opportunities related to the re-design of products to increase their sustainability.
  • Interact within a working group, adopting communication modalities and attitudes in order to guarantee the achievement of a common result.

Who We Are Searching For

The blended learning course “Junior Expert in Circular Economy” will train 20 European young people resident or domiciliated in Emilia-Romagna Region who are qualified with at least school diploma (e.g. Licei, Abitur, Matura, Baccalauréat, upper secondary, or vocational school certificates) and preferably are neither in employment nor education or training. The course 2022 is financed by Emilia-Romagna Region and organized by Centoform with the support of national and international partners involved in the first edition and new ones

The course will equip the participants with the necessary tools and skills needed for sustainable development and circular transition in economy and society. Following the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle), they e.g. gain skills in the analysis, evaluation and improvement of manufacturing processes, impact assessment methods, total quality management for environmental sustainability, entrepreneurship and digital literacy.

The course is taught in English and is composed of 800 hours:

  • 446 hours of interactive classes, part in presence in Ferrara and part on-line (November 21 – April 2022).
  • 34 hours of project work.
  • 320 of internship (currently scheduled for April-june 2022).

Purpose And Objectives

  • Circular economy challenges require a well-trained workforce with high analytical, creative and technical skills, appropriately integrated into the European qualification frameworks and system.

  • The purpose was to develop and certify a 1-year post-secondary non-tertiary education pilot course that can be transferred at European level and be adopted by the EIT RawMaterials Academy as a general framework for future VET (vocational education and training) courses.

  • JECE is a one-year higher technical education and training course (European Qualification Framework level IV) aimed at obtaining a novel qualification, organized thanks to an international partnership of educational institutions from Italy, Finland, Estonia and Switzerland and the support of EIT Raw Materials.

  • The Junior Expert in Circular Economy is based on the successful model of the Italian IFTS (Higher Technical Education and Training), which eventually will be implemented in other European countries represented in the project.  

  • Networks, especially with the collaboration of public employment services and secondary technical schools in connection with the Erasmus+, Eurodesk network and SALTO Youth Portal will also be established.

Apprentice of Junior Expert in Circular Economy

The Main Strengths Of The Course

  • A close link between business and academia, that is reflected in the learning methodology, pedagogical implementation and the “dual system” approach to training (gained skills are applied in practical tasks; lecturers and coaches from industry and universities, a high percentage of work-based training, the valorising internship as recommended by the EU Modernization Agenda).
  • A certification scheme based on EQF, ECTS and ECVET.
  • Participants will learn highly demanded skills that may improve their employability rate.
  • Financial sustainability for participants via applications to the European Social Fund or Erasmus Plus are possible.

Teaching Blocks

The Junior Expert in Circular Economy will require 22 to 26 hours per week. The course includes four blocks that build on each other and have different focuses:

Short DescriptionLearning Objectives

Block A

Gaining a basic understanding of circular economy, its potential and they reflect about their own role.Participants know how circular economy differs from linear economy, what the differences mean for sustainable economy and what opportunities and challenges exist for its implementation in industrial production.

Block B

Training in evaluating industrial production processes and making suggestions for improvement.Participants know how to evaluate a life cycle (especially industrial production processes) for products with questions, steps and tools to contribute to optimize the environmental impact and circulability.


Applying the tools and concepts directly in the daily work of a company.The participants can practice the application of the tools and concepts and understand how they work in an enterprise context.

Block C

Being enabled to explore chances and risks of redesign and new business models and to facilitate innovation workshops.Participants get to know chances and risks of examples for redesign of products and new business models for services and know how to facilitate innovation with relevant questions and tools in order to improve sustainability and circulability.

2021 JECE Course Organizers

Chiara Pancaldi
VET centre located in Emilia Romagna, Italy for more than 15 years it has been providing LLL and TVET trainings for adults, demonstrating the efficacy of post-secondary and tertiary non-university courses, representing a pillar of the regional education system with an average employment rate equal to 70%.

myclimate Foundation 
Florian Strasser
Swiss non-profit organisation for climate protection and sustainable development, both globally and locally. The expertise covers high-quality climate protection projects, climate-friendly/sustainable business solutions, and action-oriented educational, vocational and capacity building programmes enabling employees, apprentices and students to contribute to climate protection and sustainability.

Daniela Sani
ART-ER develops a number of initiatives with the objective to consolidate the employability of human resources in the research and TT field, by empowering their competences and their synergies with businesses.

Tallinn University of Technology
Veiko Karu
The only technological university in Estonia which is the flagship of Estonian engineering and technology education. TalTech supports sustainable development through R&D and science based higher education in the field of engineering and technology.

University of Oulu
Sanna Päivärinta-Antikainen
Multidisciplinary research and education community and one of the biggest universities in Finland. It is the coordinator of the EIT-RM ADMA doctoral programme focusing on doctoral training and generating experts in RM area in academia and industry.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I apply?
You will need to submit 3 things:

You must send these three documents by November 5 to

Who can apply to this programme?
The blended learning course “Junior Expert in Circular Economy” Second Edition will train 20 European young people resident or domiciliated in Emilia-Romagna Region who are qualified with at least a school diploma (e.g. Licei, Abitur, Matura, Baccalauréat, upper secondary, or vocational school certificates) and preferably are neither in employment nor education or training. University students are accepted as well.

What is the application deadline?
Applications are open until our final deadline November 15, 2021, 23:59 CET. We advice candidates to submit their application as early as possible.

Does this programme has any cost?
This programme is tuition-free because is financed with ESF PO 2014-2020.

I don't see my question here, how can I contact you?
Additional questions can be sent via email to or the contact form below.

What can I get from this course?
This course will equip you with tools and skills in sustainable development and circular economy, as well as skills in impact assessment evaluation methods, total quality management for environmental sustainability, entrepreneurship and digital literacy.

What does EQF level IV means? Is it a qualification recognized at European level?
EQF level IV is a qualification recognized by the European Union, which certifies that the student has factual and theoretical knowledge within a field and a range of skills required to generate solutions in this field.

Do I need to identify a company for the internship?
No, the course organizers will aid participants to start an internship with a company.

Who are my classmates?
The programme second cohort will be composed of twenty-five participants with interest in a career in sustainable and circular economy industries, preferably within the ages of 18-25, currently living in the Emilia-Romagna region.

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