EDUCATION WEEK: Wilson and Rawlinson lend praise amid new calls for trade body unification

UKIE and Tiga fully back Skills Review

The UK’s two major games trade associations have made ringing endorsements of the Livingstone-Hope Skills Review – on the day that both groups heard fresh calls to unite as one body.

Tiga, which primarily represents developers but also publishers, said the newly-released skills review “makes some important suggestions for raising the profile of the video games sector in schools”.

UKIE, which primarily represents publishers but also developers, said it is “fully supportive of the Livingstone-Hope skills review and looks forward to making the report’s recommendations a reality”.

Ian Livingstone, the co-author of the report, today called for both organisations to work closer together.

“If we work together, joined at the hip as one organisation, or working together as two organisations with slightly diff agendas but mainly as one, I think we’ll have far more success. I think that’s obvious,” he said.

Both trade bodies are have repeatedly been encouraged to merge, though their responses in the past have been that both work to different means.

Livingstone said that, in an increasingly digital age where developers publish their own work online, the remit of both groups is “disappearing”.

That was made apparent again today, as Tiga and UKIE issued very similar statements in support for the Skills Review.

Tiga said the report includes recommendations which it has “long espoused, including measures to attract the best teachers into schools, the use of video games to promote the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects, and support for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships”.

The body’s CEO, Richard Wilson, said he “particularly welcomes the proposal requiring higher education institutions to provide good quality data about the employment destination of graduates from games courses and other disciplines relevant to the video games industry”.

Michael Rawlinson, UKIE director general, said “if we are to continue to produce world-class interactive entertainment we need to ensure that we have a world-class workforce to produce it.”

He added: “One of UKIE’s key goals is to promote a skills and education agenda that will ensure that the right people have the right skills to succeed in the games industry, and promotes video games as a career and introduces more games and tech-based learning into the UK’s classrooms”.

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