In light of Brexit and the proposed end of freedom of movement, Ukie is urging the games industry to contribute to a UK government consultation on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) by reflecting on its experiences of hiring from abroad, as well as what skills shortages studios are currently facing.
The SOL lists occupations which are facing a shortage in the UK and could be filled via non-EEA migration. The SOL is a list of acknowledged job positions which are facing difficulties in being filled by UK or EEA (European Economic Area) workers.
Positions on the list don’t need to advertised it in the UK before opening them up to overseas applicants – instead employers can save time and money 'fishing in an empty pond', by skipping straight to advertising to international applicants..
As Ukie's State of Play report found last year, 61 per cent of games businesses rely on international talent, and 98.4 per cent believe that EU nationals who possess skills which match the industry’s needs should have a blanket right to live and work in the UK.
"With Brexit and the impending end to freedom of movement, skills shortages in the games industry are a key concern now more than ever," Ukie states. "There are numerous occupations in the sector struggling to be filled. Long-term, we strongly believe in investing in the domestic workforce and equipping people with the relevant digital skills to help the UK games industry grow. But in the short to medium term, getting the right international talent is absolutely crucial."
"Now is your chance to make a difference to future immigration policy and to help support the UK games industry," it adds. "The Government has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out a full review of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) and is calling for responses from the industry to determine whether the list needs updating, and if so, what occupations will be included."
Organisations have until December 10th to contribute to Ukie's collective response, while individual direct replies will be accepted until January 9th, 2019. Contributors may like to complete a quick survey or email their replies directly to email@example.com. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to respond directly to the consultation without going through Ukie, you can do so here.
For further information contact Tim Scott, head of policy, at Ukie.