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UKIE: "There's a need for a game specific body to drive collective skills"

At Develop Brighton, Dan Wood explored potential solutions to help bridge the skills gap in the UK industry

Image credit: UKIE chief strategy officer and acting co-CEO Dan Wood

Today at Develop Brighton, UKIE chief strategy officer and acting co-CEO Dan Wood addressed how government policies and regulations have an impact on UK games businesses.

After going through the current regulatory landscape, he looked into practical support to studios from the government, including the UK Games Fund, the upcoming new version of the VGTR, and more.

But he also highlighted the potential need for an industry body focusing on plugging the skills gap, which is currently the "number one challenge" of the games industry.

"Another thing that keeps coming up is there's a need for a game specific body – whatever that might be – to drive collective skills and activities on behalf of the industry," Wood said. "Lots of other sectors have these bodies in place and we sometimes kind of piggyback on some of the stuff that film and TV are doing. But if we matter that much, shouldn't we have our own body that can do things like create apprenticeships and so forth, things we can all benefit from, that can help find training for people, that can run boot camps on behalf of the sector?

"Shouldn't we have our own body that can do things like create apprenticeships and so forth, things we can all benefit from?"

"There's definitely an appetite for it. It's one thing to have an appetite for it [but another to make it happen] and kind of bridge that gap. But nonetheless, there's an appetite and we want to talk to the government and the industry about what opportunities there are."

He also highlighted the idea of creating a digital creativity qualification at a GCSE level, to help bridge the skills gap.

"Something that gives kind of a pathway for anyone interested in the skills that we need, you know, around art, around music, around storytelling, around design," he said.

The talk more widely touched upon the current challenges facing the industry and its pipeline – a topic we have addressed in the past, most recently talking to Ustwo Games' HR director Julie Piedrabuena about how the studio is nurturing new talent with its paid internships.

We also previously addressed apprenticeships and more widely looked into what's wrong with the UK talent pipeline and how to improve it.

Earier this year, the House of Lords urged the government to better support the UK's creative industries in order to remain globally competitive.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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