Government praises “vital role” of video games sector

The Government has praised the video games sector’s “vital role” in the UK’s “thriving creative industries”.

The Government outlined the measures they are taking to support the video games industry, while reiterating its continued support for the sector. This follows a written question from the Conservative MP Justin Tomlinson.

Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, highlighted the following key policies which intend to help the video games industry.

These include:

  • A commitment to extend the UK Games Fund until at least 2020;
  • Investing £84 million of new funding over the next five years to deliver a comprehensive programme to improve the teaching of the computing curriculum and increase participation in Computer Science GCSE;
  • A new Institute of Coding to serve as a national focus for improving digital skills provision at levels six and seven with a £20 million fund to improve higher-level digital skills; and
  • Funding universities to develop conversion courses in engineering and computer science

Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“It is good to see the Government reaffirm its commitment to the video games sector. As outlined by the Minister, the Government has introduced several measures which will serve the industry well over the coming years.

“To further support the industry, TIGA is calling on the Government to introduce a Games Investment Fund (GIF). The GIF would provide funding of between £75,000 and £500,000 to games developers nationwide, which would provide a massive boost to our industry and ensure that innovative businesses have access to finance.”

The full Written Answer can be viewed below:

Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon): To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of students studying for a degree in video games.

 Mr Sam Gyimah: The UK’s video games sector plays a vital role in the country’s thriving creative industries. The last budget included a commitment to extend our support for the UK Games Fund until 2020, a proven approach to mentoring and developing the games developers of the future.

In addition, the Department for Education is undertaking a range of initiatives to promote digital and computing skills, relevant to the computer games industry, more generally throughout the education system.

We are investing £84 million of new funding over the next five years to deliver a comprehensive programme to improve the teaching of the computing curriculum and increase participation in Computer Science GCSE.

We are also seeking to strengthen the role that Higher Education providers can play in providing digital and computing skills, including:

  • Supporting the establishment of a new Institute of Coding to serve as a national focus for improving digital skills provision at levels six and seven with a £20 million fund to improve higher-level digital skills. With joint collaborations between universities and businesses, and to focus on computer science and digital skills in related disciplines. It will ensure the courses better meet employers’ needs.
  • Funding to support universities to develop conversion courses in engineering and computer science, which allow graduates from other subjects to undertake further study and pursue careers in engineering and computer science.

All of the above will help ensure that students who wish to pursue a degree in video game subjects have the necessary skills to do so and will help to continue the upward trend in numbers of students studying degrees in this area.

 

About TIGA

TIGA is the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry. Our core purpose is to strengthen the games development and digital publishing sector. We achieve this by campaigning for the industry in the corridors of power, championing the industry in the media and helping our members commercially.

TIGA is intent on building an enduring organisation which continually improves; a business that will make a significant impact on the games industry and so benefit our membership and the wider economy. Since 2010, TIGA has won 24 business awards, an achievement which reflects TIGA’s drive for improvement and to meet best practice.

For more information visit: www.tiga.org

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