Director General of ELSPA Michael Rawlinson today called on the Government to encourage more young people into science and maths degrees to maintain Britain’s leading position in the digital economy.
Rawlinson addressed the Westminster Media Forum’s seminar, Priorities for Digital Britain, this afternoon – focusing on the future role of the gaming industry in Britain.
Rawlinson said: “This is an industry of highly-educated, strongly-skilled experts, many have first class degrees in maths and physics from leading British universities, but there are too few graduates in these subjects. We as an industry are committed to building Britain’s high-tech skills base, but we want to see greater emphasis by the government to encourage students to take up these demanding subjects.”
Speaking about some of the issues raised in the ‘Digital Britain’ report including industry tax incentives; the UK’s universal service commitment and combating intellectual property theft; Rawlinson said the video games industry had a role to play in solving these issues and it shouldn’t all be left to policymakers.
“We argued that a UK-only regulation system was outdated and dangerous. Digital Britain has now recognised the enhanced PEGI system is the right choice to provide strong protection for children in the online environment now and in the future. ELSPA understood it needed to offer the Government a solution and we fully respect this was a brave decision for the government to make,” Rawlinson added.
In outlining ELSPA’s reaction to the ‘Digital Britain’ report, Rawlinson illustrated the importance of the gaming industry to the UK economy. “The UK games industry is the biggest in Europe - and third globally behind the US and Japan. Despite the recession, sales of videogames and gaming consoles remain robust. In 2008 82 million games were sold with a value of £92 million outselling both the film and music sectors,” he commented.