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Supporting Circular Economy Opportunities for Employment and Social Inclusion

About the project

The high rate of youth unemployment, in particular NEETs and women, in the Mediterranean basin has economic and social consequences that are not specific to one country, but rather impact all Mediterranean countries. These groups share common challenges like lack of education, unequal access to education and employment, mismatch of their skills with the needs of the labour market, and they suffer a difficult transition from school to work.  SIRCLES partners want to explore new employment opportunities by applying the circular economy model applied to the biowaste sector. The project will mainly focus on developing new capacities oriented to business development and separation, collection, composting and agriculture processes. The training will be tested through 7 pilot projects that address the hotel, food retail and household sectors, adjusted to the diverse local contexts of each territory involved in the project. Consequently, SIRCLES will contribute to the creation of green jobs by involving the most vulnerable sectors of the population and supporting environmental sustainability.

Key information

Supporting Circular Economy Opportunities for Employment and Social Inclusion
A.3 Promotion of social inclusion and the fight against poverty
A.3.1 Professionalization of young people (NEETS) and women
Spain, Greece, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Italy

Financial data

3.8 million
Total budget
3.4 million
EU contribution
Project co-financing


Project in numbers

Technical outputs

Project duration

Start date
End date





Project outputs




To increase green employment opportunities by providing skills to NEET and women based on circular economy business models applied to the hotel, food retail and household sectors

What will be improved?

It is estimated that 107 new jobs will be created directly by the project, including 98 for NEETs and women, whilst job creation is expected to increase by 20% 5 years after the project completion. Pilots will continue developing circular economy business models, serving as training platforms, even after the project ends, for an emerging sector that is foreseen to create more opportunities in the future. Finally, the project will promote job placements for vulnerable groups in new services created by the partners, mainly related to waste management and farming.

Who will benefit?

  • Unemployed women of all ages and NEETs of 18–24 years at risk of exclusion
  • Municipalities and employment services
  • Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions
  • Accommodation, farming, tourism, food retail sectors and waste management companies

Expected achievements

  • Local Strategic Alliance for circular economy and social inclusion set up and involving 21 organisations
  • 5 curricula focused on skills development and training 
  • 7 pilots based on composting plants and organic farming sites 
  • 200 contracts for logistic operators and composting managers, technical promoters, and socio-labour insertion of technicians in the circular biowaste management loop
  • 7 policy toolkits employment and training for in the circular economy sector

Contribution to policy-making

SIRCLES will provide the necessary empirical evidence needed to inform policy-makers and further develop the emerging sector of circular economy. One of the project outputs will be the policy toolkit that will include recommendations and lessons learned from the different circular biowaste business models piloted, helping the policy-making community support marketable skills development and employability of vulnerable groups in the circular economy sector. Hence, the policy framework in all the involved territories will benefit from innovative inputs that address a wide array of policies dealing with sustainable economic development. These policy recommendations will be capitalised on through the Local Strategic Alliances, but also at cross border level via the Mediterranean SIRCLES Network.


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