TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that it supported the Government’s plan to set up a £50 million fund to support employer led initiatives and leadership and management training. TIGA also backed the Government’s plans to give FE colleges more autonomy. However, TIGA warned the Government against an over-emphasis on apprenticeship training and criticised the Government’s decision to replace Train-to-Gain. TIGA also repeated its opposition to the Government’s proposed limits on migration. TIGA made the comments in response to the publication of the Government strategy for skills, Skills for Sustainable Growth, and its parallel publication, Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth.
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
“TIGA supports the Government’s plan to initiate a demand-led growth and innovation fund of up to £50 million of government investment a year, to support employer-led initiatives within sectors, such as new professional standards, and to promote leadership and management in small and medium enterprises. TIGA also backs the Government’s plans to give FE colleges more autonomy.
“However, the Government’s skills policy involves putting too many of its eggs in one basket – apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are an effective way of training in some sectors of the economy but there are other perfectly good ways for employers to train their staff and that there may be better qualifications for employers and learners to work towards. As far as the video games industry is concerned, there is no significant tradition of apprenticeships as a form of workplace training. The games sector typically recruits graduates or people with other level four qualifications. The Coalition Government should not seek to impose a particular vocational model or qualification on workplaces in the UK. It cannot possibly know best.
“The Government’s decision to replace Train to Gain with an SME package with the focus on helping employers train low skilled workers is a mistake. The replacement programme for Train to Gain should enable employers to enhance the skills of high skilled workers too. The UK’s workforce of the future has to be based around higher skills.
“TIGA remains concerned about the 25 per cent cut in the further education resource budget over the life time of this Parliament. Further education needs to be properly supported. TIGA also remains extremely concerned by the Government’s migration plans. TIGA strongly opposes the proposed permanent limits on highly skilled migrants and especially highly skilled workers with a job offer. Additionally, there should be no restrictions on the freedom of publisher owned studios to facilitate intra-company transfers. This would simply damage the ability of studios to complete their projects on time and impair the quality of game development.”