Tiga issues â??damagingâ?? immigration cap warning

Tiga issues â??damagingâ?? immigration cap warning

By Rob Crossley

November 19th 2010 at 3:25PM

Non-EU worker restrictions â??will limit studio staff optionsâ??

Plans to cap the number of skilled immigrants in the UK is damaging to its game industry, trade association Tiga has warned.

The coalition government recently proposed to bring an artificial limit to the amount of non-EU immigrants arriving in the UK, with the wider aim to cut immigration by tens-of-thousands each year.

The fear is that, considering the fluidity of game development projects, such a cap could leave British studios without options to employ staff at key stages.

Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said he “strongly opposes” the proposals.

“The Government needs to ensure that its imminent announcement on immigration policy does not hinder Britain’s economic growth by restricting the migration of skilled workers,” he said.

“Arbitrary limits on migration could stop development studios from completing projects on time, halt expansion plans and damage their ability to win new contracts.”

The Prime Minister David Cameron said that an immigration cap would not affect ‘inter-company transfers’ – meaning the likes of Microsoft and Sony could still ship staff to its UK dev houses under the scheme.

Yet smaller businesses say the amendment puts them at a disadvantage against transcontinental companies. 

Tiga called the inter-company revision is a “step in the right direction”, but it urged downing Street to go further and allow games businesses to “recruit freely from the Tier 2 migration route as well”.