Press release

Government focus on skills development

Teaching of ICT and computer science in schools needs reform

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Teaching of ICT and computer science in schools needs reform to better reflect the changing  role of technology and the need to engage the computer scientists of the future, the Government says in its response to an independent review of skills (“Next Gen”) for the UK’s video games and visual effects (VFX) sectors.

Commissioned by Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey in July 2010, the review was published earlier this year and provided an important contribution to the evidence base for the skills needs of these industries, which have real potential for significant growth. The response goes on to say that through its curriculum and exam reforms the Government will look to pave the way for the sector to help schools offer pupils a genuinely rigorous grounding in computer science.

Skills development is a crucial issue for the sectors in order to build on their reputation and exploit the growing market opportunities.  Next Gen sets out some compelling ideas for how the UK can be transformed into a world leader in video games and VFX. 

Creative Industries Minister, Ed Vaizey said:

“The economic and cultural value of the UK’s video games and VFX sectors is clear and the long-term potential of their global markets present a great opportunity for UK-based businesses. It is an industry that has real potential to create the high quality jobs of the future that will be so important as we recover from the recession. We need to invest in talent that will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of games creativity.”

The key themes of Next Gen resonate far beyond video games and VFX: many of the skills demanded by these employers are equally desired in the much wider economy, from the digital and creative economy of business software, telecoms and social media to the cutting edge of engineering and design.  Ensuring the UK has a strong supply of the skills described in Next Gen will help realise the full potential of these industries.

Next Gen made 20 specific recommendations for Government, industry and educators to transform the UK into the world’s leading talent hub for video games and visual effects. The response published today addresses each recommendation.

Notes to Editors

  1. The full response to the recommendations in the report.

  2. This Government is building a skills system that creates opportunity for young people, and puts business on course for growth. Government is putting power back into the hands of businesses, through the opening of round two of the Growth and Innovation Fund, the announcement of the Employer Ownership pilot and the announcement of successful Employer Investment Fund projects, there is now up to £370 million of funding devoted to support employer led skills solutions. This funding will secure greater commitment from employers to invest in skills and support business to achieve their growth potential.

  3. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced at last week’s Apprenticeships Summit additional support for smaller firms. This includes a £1,500 incentive to encourage small firms to take on their first apprentice, streamlining the process and stripping out unnecessary bureaucracy so that employers can take on an apprentice faster and more easily.

  4. For more information on the Growth and Innovation Fund, the Employer Ownership pilot, the Employer Investment Fund projects and last week’s Apprenticeships Summit please visit the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) website.

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Updates to this page

Published 28 November 2011