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UKIE warns UK Conservative Party over immigration policy

But Dr Jo Twist welcomes 'commitments to support the UK games and wider creative industries'

UKIE has warned the UK Conservative party over its manifesto pledge to double the immigration skills charge to £2,000.

The industry trade body says that the commitments to the digital, creative and gaming industries in the party's manifesto is welcome, and that they're pleased to see a promise to set aside a "significant number of visas" for works in strategically-important areas - like games.

However, UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist is concerned that the proposed cost increases will undermine the UK industry and its efforts to attract diverse talent from around the world.

The UK General Election is set for June 8th.

"We welcome the fact that the Conservative Manifesto contains a number of commitments to support the UK games and wider digital and creative industries, and are delighted to see recognition of the role that the games industry plays in driving innovation across the economy," Twist wrote. "Yet, these commitments risk being undermined by the direction of travel on international talent and immigration.


"Whilst we welcome the pledge to set aside significant numbers of visas for workers in strategically-important sectors like digital technology, the commitment to double the immigration skills charge on migrant workers to £2,000 a year risks severely undermining the Conservatives' vision of building a Global Britain. 


"The ability to access top and diverse international talent is absolutely vital for the UK to remain globally competitive and for UK businesses to secure work which would otherwise be invested elsewhere. As a fundamentally global industry, where there is fierce competition for specialist and new and emerging skills as well as territory specific knowledge, games businesses will always need to source and compete globally for this top talent.


"What's more, this pledge fails to recognise the value of international workforces to the games and wider creative and technology industries. We rely on bringing together top talent from across the world, as it is precisely the fusion of diverse backgrounds and experiences that feeds the innovation and creativity our sectors need to thrive. 


"An immigration system fit for a truly Global Britain must acknowledge this value and be built to ensure that we remain a top global hub for diverse international talent."

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Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who
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