Sumo Digital has launched a new training scheme, Sumo Digital Academy, which is designed to create alternative pathways into the games industry for graduate talent.
Led by Dr. Jacob Habgood, Sumo’s Director of Education Partnerships, the training scheme is intended to expand the talent pool in order to meet the UK games industry’s continued growth, by by recruiting from outside of traditional education channels.
For example, the first four programmer trainees entering the programme have degrees as varied as Fashion, Physics, History and Philosophy – all unusual backgrounds for game development. These four will help to shape the Academy programme in advance of plans for a formal apprenticeship scheme.
Sumo has already invested in training to support its existing staff, and the addition Academy allows Sumo to provide paid training for new entrants. Sumo is working alongside industry partners to develop a recognised postgraduate apprenticeship programme for Game Programming through the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.
“The ability to provide training programmes for new entrants will allow the industry to cast the net wider in recruitment, encouraging diversity and tapping into new sources of talent. This doesn’t replace existing routes into the industry but rather expands the talent pool that we have access to. Different courses, different backgrounds, different styles of creativity will all help us to make better games in the future, but it requires time and investment to make this happen,” said Dr. Habgood.
The course’s principal goal is that upon completion, its candidates will be in a position to join one of Sumo’s game development studios in a junior programmer role.
With over 750 people across our nine studios it’s only right that we invest heavily in training at every level within the company. A fully recognised apprenticeship scheme for game programmers would be greatly beneficial for the industry, and I have no doubt that other disciplines would follow on from its success. Recruitment continues to be a challenge for every studio in the industry, so this initiative will get us ahead of the game by discovering home-grown stars of tomorrow,” commented Paul Porter, COO, Sumo Group.mo