New research reinforces need to cement university-business links, says Tiga

Immediate release

November 10th 2008

Tiga said today that research by the Centre for Development and Applied Research in Education at Wolverhampton University confirms that the games industry is short of skilled staff in all roles, business-university links need to be improved and students need better information about employment opportunities in the sector. The report, An Investigation into the Labour Market and Skills Demands of the Games and Serious Games Industries, was based in part on a series of interviews with games employers and educational providers earlier in 2008.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:

“The UK’s development workforce is experienced, talented and highly qualified. This Report confirms that if we are to maintain this competitive advantage then the development sector must ensure that universities keep pace with technological changes in the industry, skill needs are accurately specified and students are provided with good information about career paths in development studios.

“Tiga is already taking steps to address these challenges. We are strengthening business-university links in the games industry through the Tiga Technology Group; we are disseminating best practice about industry-academia links; and we are producing A guide to career paths in the games development sector better to inform students about the opportunities that exist in the industry.

“We need to do more. A Tiga managed Games Education Fund could help to address many of the problems identified in this Report. The Fund could:

• promote industrial secondments by funding the placement of lecturers in games businesses;

• finance research fellowships for lecturers relevant to the games industry;

• help more games businesses to work with universities; and

• award individual lecturers and their universities for excellence in teaching, judged by their commitment to teaching, building industry-university links and other actions which result in the creation of first class quality graduates for the games industry.”

Richard Wilson added:

“Where possible, employers in the games industry must give greater emphasis to workforce development. Expenditure on skills and training can drive up productivity if properly focussed. Tiga will aim to publish best practice about workforce development in 2009. At a public policy level, the Government must aim to reduce the tax burden on games businesses and others so that more employers in the UK can afford to invest in training, especially during the current difficult economic climate.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. Tiga is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and in Europe. We have 160 members, the majority of whom are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and university departments that are members.

2. 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.

3. For further information, please contact: Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; or: Email: richard.wilson@tiga.org.

4. For more information about the report, see Jill Turbin, Karl Royle and Anna King, An Investigation into the Labour Market and Skills Demands of the Games and Serious Games Industries (University of Wolverhampton, Centre for Developmental and Applied Research in Education, 2008).


Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.