TIGA propose UK games industry employment growth plan

The not-for-profit networking body, TIGA, have announced a manifesto which looks at increasing employment in the UK games industry.

Keying in with current political events, ‘Reinforcing Success: Growing the UK Games Industry. TIGA’s Manifesto for the 2017 General Election’ by TIGA proposes that the gaming sector can grow by 40 per cent in the next five years (2022). This also accompanies a desire to for the industry to grown financially and contribute more to the UK’s GPD. 

Folowing the trigger of Article 50 and the plan for the UK to leave the European Union, concerns have rung out across the UK games industry over the freedom of movement of labour that will be allows following ‘Brexit’. TIGA are looking at helping to strengthen the industry by accrediting more video games courses at UK universities and measuring the industry’s continuous professional development (CPD).

“As we negotiate a new course following Brexit in favour of a ‘global UK’, it will be vitally important to support those industries where the UK already has a competitive advantage, which provide high skilled employment and which are export focused," said TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson.

"The sector already has a critical mass of talent, with 12,600 skilled development staff employed in 1,000 companies, supported by a world class higher education system. If we can provide a competitive tax regime, improve access to finance, and deepen our talent pool while retaining the ability to recruit highly skilled overseas workers, then the UK video games industry has the potential to grow significantly."

Jason Kingsley OBE, who is CEO and creative director at Oxford based developer Rebellion as well as the TIGA chairman, added: “The UK video games industry provides high skilled employment in high technology studios and exports content all over the world. The Parliament and Government that is elected on June 8th have an opportunity to back successful industries with potential, including the video games sector. Reinforcing successful sectors in expanding markets will help to grow exports, employment and investment.”

The full manifesto is available to order from TIGA’s website, but below are the proposal for Government and Parliament that TIGA pblished in the press release:

  1. Retain and improve both Video Games Tax Relief (by increasing the rate of Relief to at least 27.5 per cent) and the Research and Development Tax Credits to ensure that the UK has one of the most favourable tax regimes for the video games industry in the world.
  2. Introduce a Video Games Investment Fund to provide pound for pound match funding, up to a maximum of £200,000, for original IP game projects to improve games businesses’ ability to access finance.
  3. Maintain support for the UK Games Talent and Finance CIC in order to provide financial support for prototypes and skills development.
  4. Enable UK games companies to recruit highly skilled workers (Tier 1 and Tier 2 workers) from the EU and the wider world.
  5. Increase the amount of money that a company can raise via Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) investment from £150,000 to £200,000 per annum.
  6. Negotiate a UK-EU trade deal that to the greatest possible extent avoids quotas, tariffs and other barriers to trade. Free trade in video games already exists and this should be maintained.
  7. Strengthen high technology video games clusters around the UK.
  8. Encourage skills and training via the Skills Investment Fund (SIF) and by making the Apprenticeship Levy more flexible and effective.
  9. Strengthen higher education by making up any short-fall in funding following the UK’s departure from the EU and by ensuring that any new visa system governing migration from the EU does not impair the ability of UK universities to recruit either academic staff or students from the EU.
  10. Establish a British Games Institute to drive the video games sector forward and to promote the cultural, creative and economic impact of video games in the UK. 

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