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Little Big Planet 2. Image thanks to Sony Computer Entertainment

Creating the "Next Gen." of UK Games and VFX talent

At over £2 billion in global sales, the UK's computer games sector is bigger than either its film or music industries, and visual effects, the fastest growing component of the UK's film industry, grew at an explosive 16.8% between 2006 and 2008.

However, the UK is in danger of losing its cutting edge in a competitive global market.

That's why the Government commissioned the Livingstone/Hope skills review, led by Life President of leading UK games publisher, Eidos, Ian Livingstone (who also chairs Creative Skillset's Computer Games Skills Council), and Alex Hope, who is the Managing Director of visual effects company Double Negative. Creative Skillset worked closely with NESTA and e-Skills on the development of the review, which draws on the high quality independent research commissioned by NESTA to inform its findings.

The report - Next Gen.: Transforming the UK into the world's leading talent hub for the video games and visual effects industries - was published in February 2011 and calls for an expansion of Creative Skillset's accreditation programme for courses that provide the most up-to-date, industry-relevant training in their fields, with priority funding to be directed at these courses. In all, Skillset is mentioned as having responsibility in six of the twenty recommendations.

Over the past five years, Creative Skillset's has been awarding the Creative Skillset Tick to the UK computer games courses that produce the most industry-ready graduates. There are now twelve Ticked computer games courses in the UK. The report shows that these graduates are almost three times more likely than graduates from other computer games courses to find employment in the industry within six months of graduation.

Download and read the report here:

Adobe Acrobat DocumentLivingstone Hope Review - Next Gen report

Click here to read more about our Accredited Computer Games courses.

At its launch in August 2010, Ian Livingstone outlined the intention of the review: "We're going to examine the entire talent pipeline for video games and visual effects, from schools through to HE/FE and industry. It is important that video games and visual effects are seen as great career opportunities."

Alex Hope also pointed out that, "The visual effects and video games industries represent exceptional growth potential for the UK economy, thanks to the talent and drive of its workforce and a rapidly growing market. The Skills Review is the starting point for protecting the future of these industries and I urge everyone involved to have their input by taking part in the survey."

With a brief to examine all areas of education and training, the report was underpinned by an unprecedented eight UK-wide surveys that NESTA instituted, gathering information and data from schools, teachers, games and VFX employers and employees, recruitment agencies, university lecturers and others to provide an unprecedented body of evidence to back up its twenty recommendations.

Creative Skillset also provided a range of statistics and research to complement these surveys, and where possible give context to some of the findings.

The review recommends Creative Skillset should build on its accreditation system and should also give information to university applicants so they can make choices based on possible employment prospects, as well as kitemark FE courses that provide useful pathways into the best HE courses. It also suggests developing a template for work-based simulation within accredited courses.

At the school level it suggests setting up a online repository and educational resource for school teachers, and recommends further work to provide CPD (Continuing Professional Practice) courses for the games and VFX industries.

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