UK trade association UKIE has announced the Videogames Ambassadors Scheme, in which it has partnered with Stemnet, an organisation promoting the study of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to young people.
The move is a response to one of 20 recommendations laid out in the Livingstone-Hope skills review, published last month as part of the coalition government’s growth review, which highlighted a lack of focus on STEM subjects within the UK curriculum, ill-preparing students for careers in the nation’s videogame industry.
In a statement UKIE said the scheme was devised “so that individuals who want to put something back into the industry can do so easily and with the minimum impact on their time.”
The scheme will see ambassadors appointed as role models to youngsters aged between 5 and 19, encouraging them to study STEM subjects, offering training and keeping them up to date with local volunteering opportunities.
Culture minister Ed Vaizey said: “It’s great to see the videogame industry taking the lead to unlock the potential of the next generation of games creators. The government’s plan for growth recommends that a focus for Stemnet’s future recruitment of STEM ambassadors should be within the digital and creative industries.”
UKIE board member, Eidos life president and co-author of the skills review Ian Livingstone said: “A desire by children to play videogames has to be transferred into a desire to make them. Videogames provide the perfect medium to encourage young people to study maths and science, and we want those children to become the highly skilled videogames workforce of tomorrow.
“Becoming a videogames ambassador is a fantastic opportunity. I’d urge as many people [as possible] from the world of videogames to get involved and to spend a couple of hours a year investing in the future of the industry.”
UKIE also responded to yesterday’s government budget, welcoming increased R&D tax credits, more university technical colleges and improved access to finance, all areas on which it had been lobbying government.