30 November 2023
Meet Dan McCabe, returning WorldSkills Champions Trust representative for Europe
Returning to the Trust for the term 2023–24, Dan is a 3D artist from the UK and a Champion from WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.
Born in Chester, England, Dan McCabe is Vehicle Artist at Cloud Imperium, an international independent game company based in Manchester, UK.
Long before realising he could make a successful career out of it, Dan started using Photoshop to create 2D art and make posters for his friends. He followed his interests, teaching himself 3D art with 3ds Max, a professional software made by Autodesk – a WorldSkills Global Partner – which he now uses every day in his job to create amazing things like “spaceships.”
Dan went on to enrol in a level three college course in 3D Game Design, according to the UK’s qualification system.
His tutor soon recognised his talents, kick-starting Dan’s WorldSkills journey by entering him in a local WorldSkills Competition. Dan did well and went on to compete at EuroSkills Gothenburg 2016 and WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017.
“When we first started our journey in 2015, neither of us were really involved in any way. We were just a random college lecturer and a random student trying to see if we could beat some of the colleges from around the country. And now we help run the global side of the competitions,” says Dan, who has been part of the WorldSkills Champions Trust as a representative from Europe since 2020 and is returning for the term 2023–24.
Being part of the Champions Trust has helped him to mature, he admits, both personally and professionally.
“It has changed my life in many ways. I have seen places that I would have never got to see, met people I would have never got to meet. And I am extremely grateful for that and the experiences I have gained for being part of the Trust and some of the things I have done that have had a positive impact on other people,” says Dan.
In recent years, Dan has made several meaningful contributions to the WorldSkills movement. Recently, he motivated Competitors at EuroSkills Gdańsk 2023, delivering a memorable speech during the Opening Ceremony. He also travelled to some of the events of WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition, representing WorldSkills. He has brought the perspective of skilled youth to international policy events, such as the Apprenticeship and the Digital Transition Symposium, organized jointly by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and the OECD.
Having struggled with depression as a Competitor, he is now raising awareness of mental health issues and the help available from the WorldSkills movement.
Being part of the WorldSkills movement has deepened his understanding of skills development, and widened his perspective on the challenges faced by young people.
“I didn’t even see problems before. Not only I am seeing them, I am trying to solve them as well. For example, I can now clearly identify the bridge between education and industry in my field,” says Dan.
He is grateful for the opportunity to continue as representative for Europe for the WorldSkills Champions Trust, and vows to keep striving to spread the power of skills throughout his second term.