With the UK election set for June 8, trade group UKIE today released its 2017 policy manifesto, laying out which courses of action it wants to see the government take so that the domestic games industry can thrive in the coming years.
"With a General Election called and manifestos underway, UKIE believes that this is a key moment for the government to demonstrate how it will grow the economy through sectors like the games industry, as well as ensuring the UK is in the best possible position to navigate the Brexit process," the group said.
To that end, UKIE detailed 10 priority recommendations it believes should be followed if the UK gaming industry is to achieve its potential. The complete list follows below, and each point is expanded upon on the group's official site.
- We call on the Government to work with industry and allow flexibility within the levy funds to develop standards that work for the industry.
- Government should conduct a detailed skills review of the nation's skills needs at the beginning of each Parliament in order to help educational institutions plan to meet the needs of employers and futureproof our economy.
- Government must prioritise working with the strategic sectors identified in the Industrial Strategy to develop processing and eligibility criteria that keeps pace with the rapidly evolving and specific skills needs of the creative tech industries and ensures short-term skills gaps are plugged.
- We call on the Government to confirm that EU citizens working in the UK prior to our departure from the EU in March 2019 will have the right to remain and work in the UK as a matter of urgency.
- The Government must prioritise obtaining a data adequacy decision from the EU as early as possible and, following our departure from the EU in 2019, ensuring that the UK and European data protection regulators continue to have a close and productive relationship.
- We call on the Government to ensure that our future trade agreements enshrine existing trade liberalisations and avoid future regulatory divergences that could hinder market access.
- We call for a more coherent approach to export and inward investment strategy from Government which empowers industry and sector experts to maximise export value through a funded industry-led partnership.
- We call on the Government to provide new funding as well as a clear remit to public agencies to support the coordinated development of the games industry.
- We call on the Government, alongside LEPs, Local Authorities and Combined Authorities, to recognise the economic and cultural impact that the games industry has around the UK by developing local plans for scaling-up existing games and innovative interactive entertainment clusters.
- We call on the Government to ensure that sufficient ambition for UK connectivity is set with the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) in the hundreds of megabits per second rather than the tens by 2025 - and that the private sector is supported in achieving this ambition.