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Computer Games Courses Endorsed By Industry

Ian Livingstone announces accredited courses at E3

Four Computer Games courses in Scotland and Wales have been named by the Games industry as the best education and training development for people wanting to pursue a career in computer games. Ian Livingstone, Product Acquisitions Director at Eidos, and Chair of Skillset's Computer Games Skills Forum announced the courses accredited by Skillset with the industries endorsement at E3, the Computer Games trade fair held in Los Angeles, CA in 2006.

The selected courses are:

· BA (Honours) Computer Arts, University of Abertay Dundee

· BSc (Honours) Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee

· BSc (Honours) Computer Games Technology, University of Paisley

· HND/BA in Computer Animation, Glamorgan Centre for Art & Design Technology

Higher Education was highlighted as a key area for intervention by the industry in Skillset's Sector Skills Agreement and speaking at the UK Games Industry Reception at E3 Ian Livingstone congratulated Skillset and the industry for developing the accreditation system which identifies the most relevant courses to enable the industry to focus its support and resources.

Ian Livingstone said:

"We believe that this is the first instance globally of the games industry co-operating on a national scale to support and enhance the development of its workforce. The Skillset accreditation system identifies industry relevant courses which have demonstrated a commitment to teaching industry relevant skills and enabling graduates to enter the workplace with the necessary confidence, skills and knowledge to succeed. It's a massive step forward in maintaining the UK's position at the forefront of making games."

Over 50 companies and individuals from the UK games industry have signed up to offer support to these courses in the form of visiting lectures, studio tours, workshops, masterclasses, mentoring and work placements including the representatives of the Computer Games Skills Forum.

The forum, Chaired by Ian Livingstone, was established by the industry and Skillset to guide and inform its work. It identified the criteria that HE courses needed to meet to produce graduates with relevant skills for the games industry. The criteria heavily emphasised core maths, physics, art and design skills and industry assessors, including individuals from EA, Codemasters and Sony, evaluated each application and in conjunction with the forum made the final decision on successful courses.

Kate O'Connor, Skillset's Executive Director of Policy and Development, said:

"This recognition gives the individual courses a higher status in the eyes of the industry leading to more industry links and support and as a result, even better courses and education for new entrants. Equally as important, this recognition will guide potential games innovators of the future to the career routes the industry is saying will help them gain necessary skills for eventual employment. The industry has wanted and needed an accreditation system for a long time. It will help shape the next generation of talent which will positively impact the economic growth of the sector."

- ENDS -

SKILLSET PRESS OFFICE: Eve Ragout 020 7520 5752 / 07968 010 325 eve@skillset.org

1. Skillset is the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries. Audio visual industries in this context means, Broadcast, Film, Video, Interactive Media and Photo Imaging. Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are independent, UK wide organisations developed by groups of influential employers in industry or business sectors of economic or strategic significance. SSCs are employer-led and actively involve trade unions, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the sector. For more information visit www.skillset.org

2. The Skills for Business network is made up of 25 Sector Skills Councils - each one is an employer-led, independent organisation. The Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) underpins the network and is responsible for funding, supporting and monitoring the SSCs.

3. Sector Skills Agreements (SSA) are a government endorsed initiative to ensure that the education and skills system more closely meets the real needs and demands of industry. Skillset's SSA is across three of its sectors - Film, TV and Interactive Media and has been developed by Skillset in partnership with employers, unions, trade organisations, colleges and universities, funding bodies, qualifications authorities and public agency partners.

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