Vaizey: UK has 'good ecology' of games courses

But Culture Minister says industry-led Next Gen Skills Academy will improve on established education
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Ed Vaizey, the UK's Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, has complimented the array of university courses across the country for aspiring games developers.

Speaking after the announcement of the Next Gen Skills Academy, the Culture Minister said that the UK has a "good ecology" of games courses but added that the new industry-led initiative will take things a step further.

The Next Gen Skills Academy has been set up by a number of big name companies, including Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Ubisoft Reflections and Pinewood Studios. 

"It's going to provide a quality guarantee, a focus and it's going to mix all the relevant skills you need for the gaming industry," he told Develop, when asked how the Next Gen Skills Academy will differ from other courses available. 

"We do have a very good ecology of games courses, and Creative Skillset does a very good job of making sure kids that are thinking about going into the industry enroll in courses that will actually give them the skills they need to get a job. 

"But the Next Gen Skills Academy takes this up to another level. I think it's a great brand name that people will identify with. It brings a narrow focus of working with key employers who are not just putting in cash money but also putting in 'cash in kind', in terms of work placements, expertise and skills to help the colleges.

"The UK Skills Council has opportunities like this across all kinds of sectors so this was the opportunity for the games industry with organisations like UKIE to come into that framework, get the funding, bring the employers on board and provide a new set of skills opportunities to the kids."

UKIE CEO Jo Twist added: "Because it's industry-led, it means the courses are kept immediately up to date. This is a really fast-changing industry, so the skills need to be kept up to date all the time."

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