An opportunity to take the first steps within the video games sector will enable students to work on a live video game already in production as part of a new intensive training course developed against a backdrop of growing demand during the pandemic.
The Digital Skills Academy’s video games production bootcamp has been designed in partnership with Create Central, the West Midlands trade body set up to turbo-charge the region’s film TV and games industries, whose members are working to widen the talent pool.
The West Midlands has one of the UK’s biggest games industry clusters outside London with more than 10 per cent of the UK total games development sector based in Leamington Spa.
Funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), the beginners’ bootcamp, which starts on 18 October 2021, runs for five weeks, and can be attended remotely at home. The deadline for applications is 3 October 2021 and the course is free for individuals living within a WMCA postcode area.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of UK coding roles has grown by 74,000 over the last three years and now stands at over 600,000. Fuelled by a digital revolution that has gathered pace during the pandemic, skills in video games production are now in high demand and offer lucrative career routes.
Heading up the Digital Skills Academy, Katy Urwin said, “This is a critical time for digital industries which urgently need to address skills shortages. At the same time, we know that unemployment rates for young people have increased more steeply as a result of the pandemic leading to more economic inactivity. Training opportunities like these are designed specifically to match new entrants to the sector with in-demand job roles.
“The Digital Skills Academy is working with a number of partners in the region including Create Central to ensure that candidates are well-prepared with the right skills to access routes into careers that will meet the growing needs of industry in the years ahead. We also offer less intensive online digital skills courses for beginners at Level 2 including CompTIA Fundamentals (ITF+) and students will have the opportunity to progress including on to higher education.
“Skills in video games production can provide exciting career paths and committing five weeks to testing out your skills is a valuable way of finding out whether you have got what it takes to succeed in this growing industry.”
Alex Darby, Technical & Design Director of darbotron ltd and Create Central Member said, "Create Central's training scheme, developed in consultation with the local videogame industry has the potential not only to fix a talent shortage, but also to help address deeper industry issues by offering opportunity to a much wider and more diverse spectrum of people than existing pathways."
The Digital Skills Academy was established in Coventry following a successful bid led by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) to secure funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority. The Academy was launched in response to growing momentum for the fast-paced digitisation of the UK and an acknowledgement that digital skills increasingly sit at the heart of all careers.
Courses and apprenticeships at a range of levels are available both online, via the Academy’s base at the Coventry University Technology Park in the heart of the city’s technology zone. Digital Skills Academy training courses are delivered free of charge to individuals living within West Midlands Combined Authority postcode areas.