Enabling the UK Video Games Industry to Access Talent After Brexit

TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, said today that if the UK video games industry was to succeed post-Brexit, then we need to continue to develop a well-educated and highly skilled domestic workforce and enable studios to recruit highly talented workers from the EU and the wider world. TIGA made the comments as it set out proposals for how the UK video games industry can continue to access talent after Brexit.

Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:

“TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world for games development, games education and games service providers. If we are to achieve this goal following Brexit, then we need to retain the highly skilled EU workers who currently make up 15 per cent of the industry; enable studios to recruit highly talented workers from the EU and the wider world; and develop a well-educated and highly skilled UK workforce.”

The UK video games industry already contributes £1.2 billion to UK GDP. This contribution will increase if we can create a favourable business environment, which includes continuing the development of a highly skilled domestic workforce while enabling employers to hire the most talented personnel from around the world.

The UK should ensure that EU workers already working in the UK are protected so that they can continue to work in the UK with the confidence that they are not going to be asked to leave the UK in the future and clarify the status of EU workers who enter the UK following the EU referendum and prior to the UK’s exit from the EU. Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU began on June 19th 2017 and the Government set out its offer to the EU concerning the status of EU workers in the UK on June 26th: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-the-position-of-eu-citizens-in-the-uk-and-uk-nationals-in-the-eu

TIGA proposes that the Government should consider the following options:

  • negotiate a general reciprocal freedom of movement rights for workers with a job offer;
  • negotiate an agreement which retains reciprocal freedom of movement rights for workers in the video games industry;
  • provide approximately 500 Work Permits per annum for the UK video games industry;
  • add roles (e.g. Games Analyst and Engine Programmer) to the Shortage Occupation List where there is a specific skills shortage so that employers can recruit the employees they need without undue delay;
  • ensure that any new immigration arrangements are not complex or costly for business.

The advent of Brexit increases the importance of developing a well-educated and highly skilled workforce. The UK Government could consider:

  • making up any short-fall in funding following the UK’s departure from the EU and ensure that any new visa system governing migration does not impair the ability of UK universities to recruit either academic staff or students from the EU;
  • conducting a cost/benefit analysis of extending the life of the Skills Investment Fund to maximise investment in skills in the creative industries;
  • allowing the proceeds of the Apprenticeship Levy to be available to fund a variety of good quality courses and not solely apprenticeships so that employers can choose the right training programme to benefit their employees and their businesses;
  • working closely with industry to increase diversity within the sector so that studios can access the widest possible range of skills;
  • examining the case for the introduction of a pilot Training Tax Relief for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to offset expenditure on training against corporation tax.

Notes to editors:

About TIGA

TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Since 2010, TIGA has won 24 business awards and commendations and has been successfully accredited as an Investors in People organisation three times. TIGA focuses on three sets of activities:

  • Political representation
  • Media representation
  • Business services

This enhances the competitiveness of our members by providing benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities. It also means our members’ voices are heard in the corridors of power and positively represented in national, broadcast and UK video games trade media.
Get in touch:
Tel: 0845 468 2330
Email: info@tiga.org
Web: www.tiga.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tigamovement
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TIGAMovement
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/tiga
For further information, you can also contact:  Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO by email: richard.wilson@tiga.org