Immigration cap â??will hurt the games industryâ??

Immigration cap â??will hurt the games industryâ??

By Rob Crossley

September 17th 2010 at 11:09AM

Tiga condemns coalition plans to â??dry upâ?? foreign talent in the UK

UK games association Tiga has condemned the coalition government’s proposal to cap the number of non-EU immigrants arriving in the UK.

The Coalition’s intention to reduce immigration to tens-of-thousands each year could ‘harm the sector’ Tiga said.

The Home Office will limit the number of non-EU immigrant workers to 24,100 - down around by five per cent - between now and April 2011.

In a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said the plan to cap non-EU immigrants was “poorly targeted”.

He said: “Tiga strongly opposes the proposed interim limits. Our research shows that 39 per cent of developers suffered from skill shortages in 2009. Game development is a highly skilled business and technology changes rapidly in the games industry, with the consequence that the specialist skills needed by the industry may simply not exist in the UK.”

Criticisms of the Coalition Government’s immigration cap are beginning to arise from within the cabinet.

Business secretary Vince Cable said the measure had been "very damaging" to British industries by stopping companies hiring key staff.

"Of course I'm part of the government and we have a policy that we all subscribe to, which is that there has to be an overall cap on migration from outside the European Union," Cable said in an interview with the Financial Times.

"Nonetheless, I am the business secretary and I have to represent business and the contribution that business makes to the British economy.

"The brutal fact is that the way the system is currently being applied is very damaging.”