TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that UK high technology businesses were at risk of a brain drain and skill shortages, compounded by the existence of tax breaks in other countries. TIGA made the comments following a report by Zurich Insurance which revealed that 57 per cent of the UK’s mid-sized technology companies (turnover of £5 - £30 million per annum) feel that they are at risk from losing skilled employees.
The Technology Hazard Warning Report(Zurich Insurance, 2011) notes that:
“Many qualified workers are exploring the opportunity to work abroad, with an estimated 67 per cent of IT workers considering or having applied for a position overseas according to a study by the IT job board. Portability of skills, coupled with higher salaries and the chance to enhance lifestyle are cited as the key reasons for considering a move abroad…Experts warn that the lack of students opting to study technology related subjects, coupled with tax breaks offered by other countries to entice business, means we are compounding problems further for the future.” (p. 10)
Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:
“This report confirms three of TIGA’s long standing arguments. Firstly, that the UK is at risk of a brain drain of highly skilled IT workers. Secondly, that relatively low numbers of students studying technology subjects such as computer science in turn creates recruitment difficulties for businesses. Thirdly, that tax breaks, such as those for games production, are fuelling the brain drain and associated skill shortages.”
“To surmount the challenges posed by the brain drain and skill shortages we need to incentivise students to study subjects such as mathematics and computer science. Additionally, we need the Coalition Government to enable UK high technology businesses to compete on a level playing field. Many of our key competitors benefit from generous tax breaks. The UK games industry does not. TIGA will continue to make the case for a tax break for games production and for improved R&D tax credits.”
Notes to editors
For information about Zurich Insurance’s report, please see: http://www.zurich.co.uk/home/foryourbusiness/largebusiness/manufacturing.htm?wt.mc_id=11
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA was awarded ‘Trade Association of the Year’ and the ‘Member Recruitment Award’ at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards 2010. In 2011, TIGA won a further four awards at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards, including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ for the second consecutive year. TIGA has been voted a finalist in the CMI Management and Leadership Awards 2011 in the ‘Outstanding Organisation (SME)’ category. Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, has been voted a finalist in the ‘Outstanding Leader’ category. TIGA was also named as a finalist in the 2010 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) National Management and Leadership Awards in the category of ‘The Outstanding Organisation of the Year Award (SME)’. TIGA is an ‘Investors in People’ accredited organisation.
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. Our mission is to fight for the interests of game developers. To achieve our vision and mission we focus on the delivery of three strategic objectives: effective political representation, profile raising and helping our members commercially. 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.
For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email firstname.lastname@example.org .