TIGA pleads Government to ease skills shortage

TIGA pleads Government to ease skills shortage

By Ed Fear

July 15th 2008 at 1:45PM

Suggests subsidies for developers involved in education, tax credits for training

UK developer industry body TIGA has urged the UK government to provide more help to the games industry in training its staff, improve university courses and provide incentives to get developers aiding universities.

The recommendations, which are part of the organisation's submission to the Government policy paper 'Higher Education at Work', call for a focus on improving standards in mathematics, physics and computing courses, for the Government to provide financial support for developers who support universities and schools with outreach programmes and guest lectures, and subsidise training programmes for gaming sector employees.

It also suggests that the Government should fund a programme to help science, technology, engineering and mathematics find work in the games industry, that it should provide 'more generous subsidies' for students taking mathematics degrees and finally that it should cut corporation tax of provide tax credits for business' expenses relating to education and training.

“If the UK economy in general and the games industry in particular is to maintain its competitive edge, then we must improve our human resources and our capacity for innovation," said Tiga CEO Richard Wilson.

"Graduates are pivotal to the achievement of these goals. However, UK games developers are hampered by a shortage of good quality graduates in mathematics, physics and computer science. There has been a 20 per cent fall in computer science students between 2002 and 2007.

“The Government must relentlessly seek need to improve standards in schools in subjects such as mathematics, physics and computing in order to increase the pool of children capable of studying these subjects at degree level."

He added: "Employers initially face the hurdles of cost and lost time when training their staff. The Government should cut corporation tax or introduce a tax credit for workforce development to help games developers and other businesses enhance their employees’ skills.”