Today, we launched ‘Powering Up: manifesto for unlocking growth in the games industry’ which sets out our vision for how the next government could support the UK’s globally successful games sector.
The UK games sector is already world class but with the right policies and leadership in place it can truly become a world leader boosting exports, jobs and growth across the country. With a General Election called and manifestos underway, we believe it is a key moment for the next government to demonstrate how it will grow the economy through sectors like the games industry.
Our manifesto sets out key themes that the next government must address to deliver the continued growth of the UK games industry whilst navigating the Brexit process, and comes at a pivotal time for the sector, which has just reported record years in sales of games software, driven by the digital economy, digital sales and new platforms.
Following consultation with our members we have set out 10 priority recommendations that will enable the games industry, and the wider technological and creative sectors that games sit within, to capitalise on this success and continue to prosper under a new government.
The 10 recommendations are:
1. We call on the Government to work with industry and allow flexibility within the levy funds to develop standards that work for the industry.
2. Government should conduct a detailed skills review of the nation’s skills needs at the beginning of each Parliament in order to help educational institutions plan to meet the needs of employers and future proof our economy.
3. Government must prioritise working with the strategic sectors identified in the Industrial Strategy to develop processing and eligibility criteria that keeps pace with the rapidly evolving and specific skills needs of the creative and technology industries and ensures short-term skills gaps are plugged.
4. We call on the Government to confirm that EU citizens working in the UK prior to our departure from the EU in March 2019 will have the right to remain and work in the UK as a matter of urgency.
5. The government must therefore prioritise obtaining a data adequacy decision from the EU as early as possible.
6. We call on the Government to ensure that our future trade agreements enshrine existing trade liberalisations and avoid future regulatory divergences that could hinder market access.
7. We call for a more coherent approach to export and inward investment strategy from Government which empowers industry and sector experts within industry to maximise export value through a funded industry-led partnership
8. We call on the next Government to provide new funding as well as a clear remit to public and cultural agencies to support the coordinated development of the games industry.
9. We call on the next government, alongside LEPs, Local Authorities and Combined Authorities, to recognise the economic and cultural impact that the games industry has around the UK by developing local plans for scaling-up existing games and innovative interactive entertainment clusters.
10. We call on the Government to ensure that sufficient ambition for UK connectivity is set with the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) in the hundreds of megabits per second rather than the tens by 2025 – and that the private sector is supported in achieving this ambition.
We will be expanding upon these recommendations and developing them through our engagement with the Government's work on the Industrial Strategy.
Commenting on Ukie's manifesto, Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE said:
“The UK games sector is already world class but with the right support, policies and leadership in place, it can truly become a world-leader - boosting exports, jobs, and growth across the country. This manifesto makes top level recommendations for how the new Government should stand behind the sector to help unlock its potential.
Since the European Referendum in June last year, Ukie has worked across the sector to identify the challenges and opportunities presented by a future outside the EU. Now is the time for Government to demonstrate how it will grow the economy through the games and interactive entertainment sectors, as well as ensuring the UK is in the best possible position to navigate the Brexit process.”