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July 12, 2016
TIGA, the network for games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, has said that the existing rights of EU workers already present and working in the UK should be protected so that they can continue to live and work in the UK with the confidence and assurance that they are not going to be asked to leave the UK at some stage. TIGA also said that the Government must clarify the status of EU workers who enter the UK following the EU referendum and prior to the UK’s exit from the EU.
There are currently around three million EU migrants living and working in the UK, TIGA says. TIGA research indicates that approximately 15% of the UK’s games development workforce originates from other EU countries.
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said: “Looking ahead, TIGA recognises that given the outcome of the referendum and also the position that the EU may take in any negotiations, it may be impossible to preserve free movement rights in their current form. In that case, the UK will need an effective and efficient migration system.
“Firstly, the existing immigration cap that applies to skilled, sponsored workers will almost certainly need to be increased from 20,700 in order to accommodate the needs of UK employers in the future.
“Secondly, certain roles within the games sector where there is a specific skills shortage, for example, Engine Programmer, Game Analyst and Senior Game Designer, may need to be added to the Shortage Occupation List to ensure that employers can recruit the employees they need without undue delay.
“Thirdly, any new immigration system must minimise some of the costs and complexity of the current points based immigration system as it is likely that any replacement will need to deal with work permits on a far larger scale than it is used for at present. It is vital that any new arrangements are not onerous or complex and that industry is not held back by skills shortages”. To read TIGA’s press release in full, click here.