26 Feb 2021
Games Careers Week is launching on 26 March 2021 with online events aimed at reaching millions of parents, learners, teachers and job-seekers. Existing events such as the Games Education Summit and Grads in Games Awards will be joined by many new online events such as Into Games Masterclasses, Microsoft’s DigiGirlz day, careers talks and other events from studios like Sumo Digital, Fabrik Games and Playground Games, events at universities like Staffordshire and Bournemouth, a new online careers fair, as well as an exhibition and career talks at the National Videogame Museum.
The new event was created by Into Games, Grads in Games and the BGI, with support from Ukie, NextGen Skills Academy, TIGA and Gamesindustry.biz. Organisers are issuing an open call to industry and academia for careers events from games and educational organisations across the country and will run a town hall meeting on 28 January to share more about the Week and how to join in.
Games Careers Week is designed to tackle two deep-rooted and related problems – workforce diversity and low public recognition of career opportunities in games. Although the games sector has made good progress towards diversifying its workforce in recent years, it is still much less diverse than either the population and the players. In part this is because most parents, young people and career-changers don’t know the UK supports over 25,000 well-paid, creative tech jobs in the rapidly growing games sector. These problems are particularly acute for diverse people and women, who can find starting, restarting or transferring into careers in games difficult.
The Week’s goal is to inspire schoolchildren to choose and study the creative tech skills needed to thrive in the modern world. Parents will be encouraged to challenge gender stereotypes and guide children towards well-paid creative careers. Educators will be guided towards existing resources, accessible games tools so they can teach more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) skills in classrooms. Job-seekers of all ages will find material to help them prepare to start, maintain and restart careers in games. Games studios will get resource packs to run events and work with schools and universities to share their career opportunities.
27 organisations are already involved but organisers hope that over 50 games organisations will support events across the country and online during the week, with a website – gamescareersweek.org – signposting careers information provided by the organisers and many others during the week and year round. The campaign is being supported by media company Shift6 and is funded by the BGI, IntoGames and Grads in Games.
Claire Boissiere, Vice Chair of the BGI: “There’s such a rich diversity of games training and career programmes across the games industry, but it can be difficult for the public to find them. This Games Careers Week will convene, signpost and promote all those amazing programmes to young people, parents, educators and anyone thinking of a change in career, so they’re easier to find and more accessible to people from any background in the UK”.
Declan Cassidy, CEO of Into Games: “We want Games Careers Week to inspire, delight and surprise, but the event also carries an important and hopeful message that a rewarding job in games is possible no matter your background. A big part of this is providing support and guidance for teachers, careers advisors, and parents, and we hope that in 5-years time when mum and dads are asked what they want their kids to be when they grow up, they might just say, ‘doctor, scientist, lawyer….game developer!’ ”
Andy Driver, Operations Manager of Grads in Games: “There are so many incredible people and organisations offering support when it comes to getting a job in the games industry and Games Careers Week is going to be a fantastic resource to get access to this. By collaborating together, it is the students, children, parents and job seekers who benefit the most and I hope we can inspire the next generation of game developers.
To get involved with Games Careers Week, register at gamescareersweek.org to receive information about the Week and the Town Hall Meeting.
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