Eidos life president Ian Livingstone has made an appeal for developers to contribute towards an ambitious talent survey that hopes to show the UK Government the value of the national games industry as an employer.
The survey has been conceived to help to inform an independent review into how to provide the skills needed by the UK’s video games and visual effects businesses.
The Independent Review of Skill for the Video Games Industry is being handled by NESTA in collaboration with Skillset, and is being led by Livingstone and Alex Hope, co-founder of Double Negative.
The initiative sets out not just to engage with the Government, but also with teachers, parents and young people, with the ultimate goal of raising the visibility of the UK industry on the global stage, and establishing the country as a destination for graduates and talent.
Interested developers can access the survey here.
"If we are going to convince [the Government and public] to change the way our education system works, we need to make as robust a case as we can," said Livingstone in an open letter to the industry published here on Develop.
"In order to achieve this," he added, "we have tasked our team at NESTA with an ambitious programme to get under the skin of the problem, and to gather a robust evidence base on the whole of the talent pipeline, from schools into universities and industry.”
Created on the request of Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, the review hopes to attract input from every facet of the UK industry, including employers and staff. While employers are to be contacted directly by the organisers so as to discuss HR and management issues, those employed can access the survey at its official site to provide input on the importance of skills and activities that make a difference to the sector.
It is hoped that those developers currently out of work will also contribute, so as to represent as broad a range of voices as possible.
"We will be reporting in the New Year," confirmed Livingstone in his letter. "Until then, we will be working hard to deliver a blueprint for change in the UK’s educational system, so that our companies can access the kind of talent they need to stay on top, creatively and commercially. Please help us to accomplish this with your participation in our surveys.
“The visual effects and video games industries represent exceptional growth potential for the UK economy, thanks to the talent and drive of its workforce and a rapidly growing market,” added Hope in a separate statement. “The Skills Review is the starting point for protecting the future of these industries and I urge everyone involved to have their input by taking part in the survey.”
If successful in its goals, the survey could do much to counter the famed ‘brain drain’ drawing UK talent away to international hubs such as Canada.