Games trade association TIGA has called for the Shortage Occupation List to be expanded to allow UK studios to attract and retain much-needed talent from around the world – and warns that failure to do so could hinder the continued growth of the UK’s video games industry.
TIGA has responded to the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC)* call for evidence on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). It follows a survey conducted by TIGA with its members to gauge their views on the matter.
The Shortage Occupation List (SOL) is an official list of jobs and professions that are facing a shortage of skilled workers in the country. The SOL intends to provide a clear pathway for skilled workers from outside the UK to enter the country and work in shortage occupations, to help address the UK’s skills shortage and ensure that businesses have access to the expertise they need to thrive.
TIGA notes that it is critical that roles in the UK video games industry remain on the SOL to ensure the sector’s continued success. TIGA’s recent business opinion survey, conducted in December 2022, showed that 52 per cent of respondents considered that skills shortages and skills gaps were the biggest obstacles to the success of their business.
In response to the MAC’s consultation, TIGA has highlighted the importance of attracting and retaining talented professionals from across the globe to ensure that the UK games industry remains at the forefront of innovation and creativity.
TIGA would like to see the following roles kept on the SOL:
- 2126: Design and development engineers – all jobs
- 2127: Production and process engineers – all jobs
- 2135: IT business analysts, architects and systems designers – all jobs
- 2136: Programmers and software development professionals – all jobs
- 2137: Web design and development professionals – all jobs
- 3411: Artists – all jobs
- 3416: Arts officers, producers and directors – all jobs
- 3421: Graphic designers– all jobs
TIGA would like to see the following roles added to the SOL:
- 3417: Photographers, audio-visual and broadcasting equipment operators
- 1132: Marketing and sales directors
- 2134: IT Project and Programme Managers
- 2473: Advertising Account Managers and Creative Directors
- 3132: IT Support Technicians
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, CEO of TIGA said:
“The UK video games industry faces skills shortages. This is due to a combination of factors, including strong employment growth, an insufficient supply of skilled developers and the emergence of new skill sets. TIGA recommends the inclusion of important roles relevant to the video games industry on the SOL to enable the UK video games industry to continue to grow, expand and succeed.”
Jason Kingsley OBE, the Chairman of TIGA and CEO of Rebellion
“The UK video games industry is a powerhouse of creative innovation and technological advancement, with a strong track record of producing world-class games that captivate audiences around the globe. However, to ensure its continued success, we must address skills gaps and invest in the development of the next generation of game developers. The inclusion of these key roles on the SOL will help to cement the UK’s position as a global leader in games development.”
*The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is an independent, non-statutory, non-time limited, non-departmental public body that advises the government on migration issues. MAC is an advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Home Office.
TIGA is the trade association for the UK video games industry. Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. Our core purpose is to strengthen the games development and digital publishing sector. To this end, we focus on four strategic objectives:
- influencing Government policy via effective political representation;
- raising the profile of our industry to influence public policy;
- enhancing education and skills through our accreditation programme (https://tiga.org/education/tiga-university-accreditation) and TIGA Games Education Awards (https://tiga.org/education-awards); and
- promoting best practice through our membership services, including the TIGA STAR Employer Award (https://tiga.org/star) and the TIGA Games Industry Awards (https://tiga.org/awards).
For more information contact TIGA: