Skip to main content

29 June 2023

Voice of youth part of Cedefop/OECD symposium on apprenticeships

WorldSkills Champions Trust representative for Europe Dan McCabe discussed the challenges and opportunities in implementing apprenticeships as part of the event’s closing panel.

Bringing to the table the perspective of skilled youth, WorldSkills Champions Trust representative Dan McCabe took part in the closing panel at the Apprenticeship and the Digital Transition Symposium, organized jointly by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and the OECD.

Held from 15 to 16 June 2023, the event explored the link between apprenticeships and the digital transition, and their implications for policy-making. It showed the importance of apprenticeships in closing the skills gap to adapt to the green and digital transitions.

The event brought together over 100 policy-makers, social partners, practitioners, and researchers from around the world to Thessaloniki, Greece.

Panellists examined the current and future challenges, as well as the opportunities provided by digital transformation.

The ‘Closing panel: perspectives of the protagonists’ featured representatives from groups vital to the success of apprenticeships. Apprentices, training providers, teachers, companies, and workers all had the opportunity to share their views.

“From a youth perspective, it was great to be heard and be invited to speak at an event like this,” said Dan.

Dan, currently a Vehicle Artist at Cloud Imperium, an international independent game company based in Manchester, UK, drew on his experience both as a past Competitor in 3D Digital Game Art and as a young professional.

WorldSkills Champions Trust representative for Europe Dan McCabe at the Cedefop/OECD symposium in June 2023.

He says that he brought to the panel “an industry perspective of some sectors that are struggling to integrate apprenticeships.”

According to Dan, while there is general agreement on the effectiveness of apprenticeships, the absence of links between education and industry in the gaming sector hampers their implementation, something which can only be countered with more support, better resources, and improved systems.

The need for occupation-specific responses to opening apprenticeships to new digital sectors was one of the issues addressed at the event. The other was the inclusion of digital tools such as simulators, virtual reality, as well as blended learning approaches into the education system.

“The thing I found most interesting – especially for a youth or young apprentice mindset – was the implementation of VR. It’s something new and cool, so young people tend to gravitate towards it. Trying to implement VR into training will find higher levels of engagement,” says Dan.

More information on the 2023 joint Cedefop/OECD symposium on “Apprenticeships and the digital transition” is available on their website.

The WorldSkills Champions Trust is a volunteer group of past WorldSkills Competitors who are a voice of young people in the WorldSkills movement. They work to raise levels of engagement among WorldSkills Champions and promote active involvement in WorldSkills projects, initiatives, and activities.