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TIGA welcomes MPs call for 'games academy'

Trade body TIGA has welcomed recent statements made by MP Shaun Woodward, on the need for a dedicated 'games academy' to benefit the UK industry.

Trade body TIGA has welcomed recent statements made by MP Shaun Woodward, on the need for a dedicated 'games academy' to benefit the UK industry.

The idea of a games academy, or Centre of Excellence, was first put to the MP last July, and is part of the three-pronged initiative by TIGA to address skills shortages in the videogame sector - along with encouraging the development of new IP, and a scheme to assist research, debate and innovation in industry technology.

TIGA has been in discussions with independent and developer-owned studios across the country in order to understand industry requirements, as well as researching initiatives in other European countries to see what can be learned, and to look at possible collaborations.

"There are a number of factors we need to take into account," said Fred Hasson, CEO of TIGA.

"Firstly, the industry is crying out for more suitably skilled people to enter the sector. Secondly, skills needed to cope with the next-gen transition to larger studios and changing patterns of production are needed now."

"There are potential gains to be made by looking at how techniques and know-how from other closely related industries can inform the way we develop product. These are the issues we are exploring with companies and partners," he said.

Hasson, who has been responsible for training initiatives in the film and TV sectors, added: "Most training is done in-house or on the job, which is a large investment for companies and partly explains why there is general anxiety at the poaching and tempting of staff away from studios."

"There are also variations on the way things are done locally which differ from cluster to cluster dotted around the UK. All this needs to be taken into account if we are going to get this right."

TIGA's long-term goal is to to develop strategies for the continued success and competitiveness of the UK games industry in an ever-changing global market.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.