Over 100 game studios took part in our 2021 report looking at the attitudes towards apprenticeships in the games sector. Together, the studios represented 25% of the UK workforce, a statistically worthwhile amount that gave us a good indication of sentiment as well as some clear recommendations for how vocational pathway training could be improved.

Key findings included:

  • £4.2m in apprenticeship levy funding is going unspent by the games sector
  • Only 35 active apprenticeships were found to be operating in a sector of over 20,000 staff  
  • Over half the sector (50.3%) would take on an apprentice in the next 12 months if conditions were right 
  • 56.7% admitted little to no understanding of how apprenticeships work or what the process would be
  • Only 13% of studios think that the current apprenticeship standards are suitable for the games sector 
  • 94.8% of studios agree that apprenticeships should be as valid a route into the sector as a university  
  • 92% would use apprenticeships to improve the diversity of their business

The report presents six recommendations to try and make the UK games sector a more fertile ground for vocational training pathways which include a national industry task force created to set targets and develop new standards; the implementation of pre-apprenticeship boot camps for discipline-specific skills, like coding and game production; and the creation of a central sector-specific online informational hub.       

CEO for The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) stated: 

“Unlocking the value of apprenticeships across the games sector could play a valuable role in closing the talent gap, diversifying our workforce and delivering the economic benefits of our industry to all.” 

Into Games CEO and part author of the report, Declan Cassidy added: 

‘ This year the games industry welcomed over 200 new roles to unemployed job seekers via the government’s kickstart programme. We hope this report highlights how apprenticeships can keep that door open to underrepresented groups while also being an excellent way to upskill and accredit existing staff.

It’s great that this report shows that the sector is starting in a place of so much positivity around apprenticeships, but the sector needs to work closely to take advantage of new incentives and create suitable standards for this to move forward in any meaningful way ’

Download the full report here.