On 21 January 2020, TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, responded to the Department for Education’s review of post-16 qualifications at level 3. TIGA’s membership includes universities and education providers and TIGA’s accreditation scheme appraises higher education video games courses to ensure that students are able to gain games industry relevant skills.
The Government’s consultation is seeking views on proposals to reform post-16 technical academic qualifications at level 3. Level 3 qualifications are A-level or equivalent, including level 3 diplomas and advanced apprenticeships.
In its response, TIGA outlined the following points for the Government’s consideration:
- Funding for post-16 Applied General Qualifications (AGQs) should not be removed simply because there is an A-Level of T-Level ‘alternative’.
- Removing funding for pathways other than A-Levels and T-Levels will impose a binary system which could damage the talent pipeline for the video games industry and wider creative sectors.
- Current AGQs allow students to gain practical skills in design and development such as storyboarding, 3D modelling, animating, rendering, illustrating, coding and sound and motion capture. These are all important for the video games industry. Data from the education provider Pearson and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that of those progressing from Pearson’s Level 3 BTEC qualifications in Creative Media in 2017, approximately 60 per cent of students went on to related studies in higher education that could potentially lead to them working in the games industry.
- England’s and the UK’s education system needs to be flexible to adapt to the changing needs of industry and employers.
- Reducing the pathways available to students will constrain the system’s ability to design and implement new qualifications at the rate that new roles are required.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA said:
“The UK’s video games sector is one of the most successful in the world. It provides employment for high-skilled individuals and a large part of its success is because of a pipeline of skilled and talent people.
“The proposal to remove funding for pathways other than A-Levels and T-Levels is unnecessarily restrictive and could potentially reduce the supply of talented people available to work in the video games industry and other creative sectors. The funding for Applied General Qualifications should be retained and enhanced to bolster the supply of talent to feed the UK’s thriving video games sector and other creative industries.”