UK video games trade body Ukie has listed the ways in which it hopes the government will pledge to support our industry going forwards.
Called ‘Powering Up: manifesto for unlocking growth in the games industry', the document lists ten recommendations that the next government will be urged to pursue to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of the global games industry as it tackles the uncertainty of the country's expected departure from the EU.
They are as follows:
1. We call on the Government to work with industry and allow flexibility within the levy funds to develop standards that work for the industry.
2. Government should conduct a detailed skills review of the nation's skills needs at the beginning of each Parliament in order to help educational institutions plan to meet the needs of employers and future proof our economy.
3. Government must prioritise working with the strategic sectors identified in the Industrial Strategy to develop processing and eligibility criteria that keeps pace with the rapidly evolving and specific skills needs of the creative and technology industries and ensures short-term skills gaps are plugged.
4. We call on the Government to confirm that EU citizens working in the UK prior to our departure from the EU in March 2019 will have the right to remain and work in the UK as a matter of urgency.
5. The government must therefore prioritise obtaining a data adequacy decision from the EU as early as possible.
6. We call on the Government to ensure that our future trade agreements enshrine existing trade liberalisations and avoid future regulatory divergences that could hinder market access.
7. We call for a more coherent approach to export and inward investment strategy from Government which empowers industry and sector experts within industry to maximise export value through a funded industry-led partnership
8. We call on the next Government to provide new funding as well as a clear remit to public and cultural agencies to support the coordinated development of the games industry.
9. We call on the next government, alongside LEPs, Local Authorities and Combined Authorities, to recognise the economic and cultural impact that the games industry has around the UK by developing local plans for scaling-up existing games and innovative interactive entertainment clusters.
10. We call on the Government to ensure that sufficient ambition for UK connectivity is set with the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) in the hundreds of megabits per second rather than the tens by 2025 – and that the private sector is supported in achieving this ambition.
Ukie CEO Jo Twist added: The UK games sector is already world class but with the right support, policies and leadership in place, it can truly become a world-leader - boosting exports, jobs, and growth across the country. This manifesto makes top level recommendations for how the new Government should stand behind the sector to help unlock its potential.
Since the European Referendum in June last year, Ukie has worked across the sector to identify the challenges and opportunities presented by a future outside the EU. Now is the time for Government to demonstrate how it will grow the economy through the games and interactive entertainment sectors, as well as ensuring the UK is in the best possible position to navigate the Brexit process.”