July 3, 2017
TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, says that if the UK video games industry is to succeed post-Brexit, then the UK needs to continue to develop “a well-educated and highly skilled domestic workforce and enable studios to recruit highly talented workers from the EU and the wider world.” TIGA made the comments as it set out proposals for how the UK video games industry can continue to access talent after Brexit.
TIGA says that the UK video games industry already contributes £1.2 billion to UK GDP. This contribution will increase if the UK can create a favourable business environment, which includes continuing the development of a highly skilled domestic workforce while enabling employers to hire the most talented personnel from around the world.
TIGA also says that the UK should ensure that EU workers already working in the UK are protected so that they can continue to work in the UK with the confidence that they are not going to be asked to leave the UK in the future and clarify the status of EU workers who enter the UK following the EU referendum and prior to the UK’s exit from the EU.
TIGA proposes that the Government should consider the following options:
- negotiate a general reciprocal freedom of movement rights for workers with a job offer;
- negotiate an agreement which retains reciprocal freedom of movement rights for workers in the video games industry;
- provide approximately 500 Work Permits per annum for the UK video games industry;
- add roles (e.g. Games Analyst and Engine Programmer) to the Shortage Occupation List where there is a specific skills shortage so that employers can recruit the employees they need without undue delay; and
- ensure that any new immigration arrangements are not complex or costly for business.
The advent of Brexit increases the importance of developing a well-educated and highly skilled workforce. TIGA says that the UK Government could consider:
- making up any short-fall in funding following the UK’s departure from the EU and ensure that any new visa system governing migration does not impair the ability of UK universities to recruit either academic staff or students from the EU;
- conducting a cost/benefit analysis of extending the life of the Skills Investment Fund to maximise investment in skills in the creative industries;
- allowing the proceeds of the Apprenticeship Levy to be available to fund a variety of good quality courses and not solely apprenticeships so that employers can choose the right training programme to benefit their employees and their businesses;
- working closely with industry to increase diversity within the sector so that studios can access the widest possible range of skills; and
- examining the case for the introduction of a pilot Training Tax Relief for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to offset expenditure on training against corporation tax.
For further information, click here.