Neon Play CEO says UK games industry is finally finding its voice

Skills Review response ‘a hopeful step forward’

The government’s official response to the Livingstone-Hope Skills Review “undoubtedly offers a good starting point from which we can begin to address the skills shortage”, a UK games studio executive has said.

Oli Christie, the CEO of mobile outfit Neon Play, told Develop that the DCMS response is “an encouraging step forward”.

“At last there is some recognition that the current curriculum is not up to scratch when it comes to developing the talent we need to secure the future of UK games industry and the creative industries as a whole,” Christie told Develop.

“With TIGA pressing for tax breaks and increased government support and UKIE launching its Next Gen Skills campaign with backing from tech giants such as Google, Microsoft and Electronic Arts, the UK games industry is finally beginning to find its voice,” he added.

“It remains to be seen how – and, indeed, how quickly – the report will impact the industry but it offers hope that there will be more support in the future.”

The Government today pledged to develop “an attractive computer science offering for schools”.

Many in the industry want a fast solution to what they term as the ‘digital skills gap’. The concern is that young British students are not being taught enough of the right skills for the new digital age of jobs.

The Livingstone-Hope Skills Review, published in February, had called on the government to include computer science within the national curriculum – something which the Government response has today not committed to.

But Ian Livingstone, who co-authored the paper, said the general message from Whitehall was positive.

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