Introduction. The article is devoted to the analysis of the circular economy in terms of
improving vocational education and training (VET) system. Greening, digitalisation and
increasing working life duration are shaping the labour market and education policies.
The linear paradigm of sustainable development is being replaced by the circular
economy (CE), which leads to the emergence of new professions, new approaches to
the organisation of work, and new combinations of skills that meet the mobile, flexible,
and sustainable labour market needs.
Aim. The purpose of the study is to identify trends and opportunities to improve the
effectiveness of VET at the system level in terms of transition to CE.
Methods. The employed methodology relies on elements of socio-economic modelling,
structuring and systematisation, the case-study method and foresight technologies. The
interdisciplinary approach made it possible to identify and extrapolate socio-economic
development trends to the area of the labour market needs forecasting in the context
of the CE transition.
Results. It is concluded that circular business process models are facilitating the
transition to a more equitable and environmentally sustainable CE. Extrapolating the
circular approach to the VET system will ensure its transition to the Industry 5.0 thus
increasing its efficiency: the training will go in parallel with the development of new
industrial technologies. Transition to CE will also require a new approach to the VET
innovations and T-shaped skills.
Theoretical novelty lies in identifying the key principles and elements of the CE
formation, and the pathway for improving VET within the framework of a circular
Practical significance. Obtained results can be used for further VET modernisation,
programmes and learning models content transformation, as well as for the creation of
innovative learning spaces within the circular paradigm.