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Circular Economy

What does vocational education (MBO) do?

Vocational education (MBO) has a large task in educating the professionals and entrepreneurs of the future in the ways of the circular economy. DuurzaamDoor, a government initiative about sustainable knowledge, writes the following:

“The professionals of tomorrow will work with new techniques and business models combined with authentic craftsmanship. Vocational education is increasingly focusing on educating these craftsmen of the future, but questions from businesses and the courses on offer remain few. Matches between business and education mostly happen ad hoc.” (source: DuurzaamDoor, translated by author)

Research by DuurzaamDoor shows that the focus on sustainability is growing, especially in the technology and construction courses. In most other disciplines that attention is not there yet or less. More and more teaching materials are becoming available and much of this is collected on the website www.duurzaammbo.nl.

The MBO Council (MBO Raad) reports on their website that attention is being paid to sustainability. For instance, the MBO Council signed the covenant for Responsible Pr0curement in 2009. Since August 1st, 2015, institutions for vocational education also have the option of including a minor in sustainability in their courses. Moreover, sustainability is included in a number of qualification dossiers for the MBO (source: MBO Council).

Active networks and organisations

Organistions active in this field are:

  • Leren voor Morgen also has a specific program with Circular Skills to identify, develop and anchor circular skills in vocational education. For more information, see the report “Circular Skills Vocational Education for a Circular Construction and Installation Sector” (Leren voor Morgen, 2020).
  • MBO voor Morgen (MBO for Tomorrow) is an initiative of Leren voor Morgen, Katapult, Het Groene Brein, Duurzaam MBO and Groene Groei. These organisations are working together to boost sustainability in MBO. They also organise an annual national conference on sustainability in the MBO and various other national meetings.
  • Duurzaam MBO (Sustainable MBO): Sustainable MBO aims to structurally integrate sustainable development into the educational system and its organisations, from a standpoint of sharing and developing knowledge and offering attractive career options for young people. Duurzaam MBO works on making vocational education more sustainable in the sectors technology, green, care/welfare and economics/trade;
  • The archive of GroenGelinkt offers links to other lesson materials for MBO schools;
  • Practoraten want to make an active contribution to the innovative of the MBO sector and, to this end, practice-based research is carried out within the practises to make well-founded choices, to reflect, to learn, and to keep ears and eyes open.
  • Spark the Movement offers reflection and inspiration for schools in Friesland that want to get started with the circular economy.

More information