Blitz Games Studio CEO meets with Chancellor of the Exchequer

16 July 2009 Philip Oliver, CEO of Blitz Games Studios&TIGA Board Member today met with the Chancellor, Alistair Darling to present TIGA’s agenda for improving skills and training for the Video Games Industry.

The Chancellor requested to meet with Oliver to hear views on skills provision and training, particularly on how businesses can appropriately skill their workforce to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future, and the role of Government in skills training.

Oliver made the following longstanding TIGA recommendations to the Chancellor:

• The government should reduce tuition fees for undergraduates taking mathematics and computer science degrees

• Ensure teachers in STEM subjects are highly qualified and are rewarded for leaving industry to teach

• Look at introducing computer programming at an early age - examine whether the ICT curriculum could be expanded to include courses on simple game development which would be exciting to many students and allow the brightest to be inspired

• Work with universities to enable them to flex and refresh their courses more rapidly in response to UK industry demand

• Offer tax credits for companies who invest resources in supporting schools, colleges and universities to improve their courses

• Improve the information and access to support for ongoing internal industry training

• Ensure R&D tax credits are fit for purpose for knowledge based industries

Speaking after the meeting Oliver said:“It is hugely encouraging that the Chancellor is consulting the games industry on the issues of skills and education. TIGA has been leading the debate on education and skills required by the games industry and the Chancellor was very receptive to the ideas presented. We will continue to lobby Government on these and other issues that can improve the business environment for UK games developers. I hope the Chancellor will seriously consider the proposals outlined today and look forward to further consultation on these issues.”

Notes to editors:

1. Blitz Games Studios is based in Leamington Spa and was founded in 1990 by industry veterans Andrew and Philip Oliver and now has more than 200 staff. Its six divisions encompass mature titles (Volatile Games), Serious Games (TruSim), family titles (Blitz Games), proprietary middleware (BlitzTech), downloadable games (Blitz Arcade) and its education division (Blitz Academy). See www.BlitzGamesStudios.com

2. TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.

3. TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. See www.tiga.org

For further information please contact:

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; or Email: richard.wilson@tiga.org, or,

Eva Whitlow, TIGA PR Manager on: 07814 039 983, or email eva@tiga.org, or

Debbie Henderson, Assistant PR Manager, Blitz Games Studios, on +44 (0) 1926 880032 or dhenderson@blitzgamesstudios.com


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