The UK government’s Migration Advisory Committee has recommended that a number of jobs related to the video game industry should be included in the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). The list – which is used to prioritise visa applications from immigrant candidates with expertise in a range of professions – has recently been updated to reflect shortages found across many creative industries, including roles commonly needed in the video games sector.
The Migration Advisory Committee specifically noted that while “there are initiatives to tackle this”, the UK video games industry “sits well below the average for gender and BAME representation”, as well reporting that the digital skills gap “is larger in the UK than anywhere else in Europe”.
“A large proportion of the job titles requesting to be put on the SOL for the Creative Industries are those which require STEM skills, for example within video gaming, VFX, and animation,” the report stated (thanks, GI.biz). “Companies have to compete for high skilled roles which require IT skills with other higher paying industries, for example the financial sector.”
Consequently, the review recommends jobs such as programmers, artists, producers, and directors should be amongst the roles prioritised when considering immigration applications, as well as all jobs categorised under “IT business analysts, architects and system designers”.
“The rapid development in technology can cause difficulties getting workers with the skills companies need to remain competitive,” the report added. “Gaming has a range of SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] who struggle to compete on salary with larger organisations and other industries that require the same skill set (e.g. the financial sector) and so often offers shares in the company as an alternative incentive.”