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Games Up? UK Graduate Shortage Causing Problems


A shortage of qualified graduates and skilled workers are hampering games industry growth, according to industry experts. With specialist games degrees concentrating on enrolment numbers over quality of output, and a reported 15% fall in science graduates over the last decade, companies are struggling to recruit and grow as fast as their global rivals.

 

Games Up? A campaign run by the UK games industry claims, there have been 15% fewer science graduates over the last decade, and falling numbers of computer science graduates. The say that fewer than 20% of games graduates get industry jobs because courses “are not fit for purpose.”

 

Jamie MacDonald, Vice President at Sony Computer Entertainment World Wide Studios Europe, which broke new ground with family hits such as SingStar and Buzz, said: “In recent years, the industry could have grown so much faster if we had access to larger numbers of better trained recruits.

 

“It’s vital that we tackle the skills shortage to preserve our ability to make global hit games. We back the Government’s call for Centres of Excellence for video games and more Skill-set accredited courses in universities which would help ensure that the British industry can continue to create a new generation of world-class games creators.”

 

David Braben, Chairman of Frontier Developments: “This growing global industry already gives so much back – not just in tax, but also in education. We can help motivate children and teenagers to learn subjects like maths, physics and computer science – subjects in which standards and numbers are falling dramatically.

 

“We want to work with universities in a structured way to improve the content and standard of courses so that graduates emerge ready for real world jobs, not just in our industry, but in other industries that also benefit the country. We compete with the banking sector for programmers and the film industry for artists and animators. But in our industry alone we need at least 1,700 more staff over the next five years to maintain our global position. We ought to be at the vanguard of this global phenomenon, not moving studios abroad where the industry is booming.”


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