Livingstone: Skills Review can "change perceptions of industry"
Government-backed report to be published in early 2011 and will "set a blueprint to transform the UK"
Eidos life president Ian Livingstone has revealed that the Government-backed Skills Review will be published "early in the New Year" and will "set a blueprint to transform the UK into the best source of talent and a primary destination choice for videogames production".
Outlining in detail for the first time the scope and progress of the Review, Livingstone told GamesIndustry.biz: "It will be a substantial report with recommendations looking at the talent pipeline from junior school all the way though to HE/FE.
"Clearly the videogames industry needs graduates to come out of universities and colleges with the hard skills necessary to make games rather than just the philosophical knowledge about them."
Livingstone is leading the Review, announced by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey in July, with Alex Hope of visual effects company Double Negative, in conjunction with Skillset and NESTA.
He said it represented "an opportunity to change perceptions of the videogames industry, and raise its profile as a great careers choice for the brightest talent in the UK".
The Review team has thrown itself into the process with gusto, and Livingstone revealed that two "large scale surveys" of employers in the games industry had been launched.
He called on companies to "actively participate" in the process, stating: "The Review is a one-off chance to actually effect some real change that will benefit the industry.
"With the right data we will not only be able to make the strongest case to the government, but also capture accurately the needs of companies across all of the industry, from large console developers to small casual studios."
Livingstone, who also commented on the Review in a video produced to mark yesterday's formal rebranding of ELSPA as UKIE, predicted that it would "set a blueprint to transform the UK into the best source of talent and a primary destination choice for video games production."
He added: "We are looking at the skills that the UK's future videogames developers should be taught, and how to ensure that when they come out of education they have what it takes to make it in the industry. We will be drawing on best practice, both in the UK and overseas.
"We believe we have put in place a strategy to engage all the right stakeholders, including decision-makers in the government, as well as people in industry and education"
And UKIE director general Michael Rawlinson added his endorsement of the project.
"Improving the videogames and interactive entertainment industry's skills base is one of UKIE's key objectives," he told GamesIndustry.biz. "UKIE already works with NESTA and sits on Skillset's Computer Games Skills Council and welcomes the Livingstone-Hope skills review as an essential step towards securing the industry's continued success.
"We look forward to contributing to the review and helping to make sure that we see more people entering the industry with the skills needed to ensure its continued growth."