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This landmark report sets out how the UK can be transformed into the world’s leading talent hub for video games and visual effects.

This landmark report sets out how the UK can be transformed into the world’s leading talent hub for video games and visual effects.

Key findings

  • The education system (including universities and FE colleges) doesn’t provide the skills that the UK video games and visual effects industries need.
  • The stakes are higher than the future of two industries. The deficiencies uncovered in the education system need urgent action for the future of the UK’s high-tech creative and digital industries more generally.
  • This report’s recommendations include: computer science should be on the national curriculum alongside maths and physics; a GCSE in computer science should be introduced in all schools; and industry-accredited university and FE courses should receive targeted funding from HEFCE as ‘Strategically Important and Vulnerable’ subjects when the Government’s reforms to university education funding are implemented.

At over £2 billion in global sales, the UK’s video games sector is bigger than either its film or music industries. Visual effects, the fastest growing component of the UK’s film industry, grew at an explosive 16.8 per cent between 2006 and 2008. High-tech, knowledge-intensive sectors and, in the case of video games, major generators of intellectual property, these industries have all the attributes the UK needs to succeed in the 21st century.

Yet, the sad truth is that we are already starting to lose our cutting edge: in just two years, it seems the UK’s video games industry has dipped from third to sixth place in the global development rankings.

Meanwhile, the visual effects industry, though still enjoying very rapid growth, is having to source talent from overseas because of skills shortages at home. That is mainly a failing of our education system – from schools to universities – and it needs to be tackled urgently if we are to remain globally competitive. This report looks at how.

Authors

Ian Livingstone, Alex Hope

Part of
Digital Makers