Migration minister to join private roundtable with gaming industry figures over Brexit concerns
Scotland’s migration minister is set to meet with computing gaming industry companies today to hear about the concerns for the sector over Brexit.
Ben Macpherson MSP was due to hear first-hand from digital leaders at a private meeting held at Abertay University in Dundee; a report last year warned that a no-deal or ‘hard Brexit’ could cause serious harm to an industry that contributes £2bn-a-year to the UK economy.
Dundee, which is synonmous with the gaming industry, having been home to Rockstar North, founded as DMA Design – which created Grand Theft Auto – and also the first place in the UK to offer a computer games degree in 1997, at Abertay University.
Scotland’s computer games sector employs 1,285 people, generates £98.9 million annually and recruits a significant number of highly skilled citizens from elsewhere in the EU.
Industry figures have warned that Brexit, and an end to freedom of movement, will make it more difficult to attract the staff they need.
Speaking ahead of the roundtable discussion Mr Macpherson said: “Brexit presents major challenges for all our creative industries and therefore it is vital to understand their concerns and what initiatives each sector could benefit from.
“The Scottish Government recognises the importance of the games sector to Scotland’s economy and this roundtable is an important opportunity to explore how UK immigration policies and any Brexit process could affect the industry.
“In an area like the games sector, where it is necessary to compete internationally for the best developers, designers and talent, we need migration policies that enable Scotland to maintain its strong reputation as an open, welcoming and attractive place to live and work.”
Professor Gregor White, Dean of Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics, said: “As Europe’s leading university for computer games education, Abertay attracts some of the most talented students and academic staff in the world, so an immigration system that allows for smooth mobility is important to us as an institution.
“Having a diverse international mix on campus highly benefits the Abertay student experience, adds value to our research and supports the quality of our teaching.”
The Scottish Government has made available support grants of up to £4,000 for businesses to help them prepare for Brexit. In the past four years Scottish Enterprise has provided £11.5 million of financial support to some 40 games companies in Scotland.
The Scottish Government is currently engaging with the UK Government on the design of the UK’s future visa and immigration system, and urging the UK Government to minimise barriers for EU citizens.
All of Scotland’s population growth over the next 25 years is projected to come from migration.
Aberdeenshire leads the way in work-based learning
There has long been debate about the distinction to be drawn between vocational and academic learning. However, in Aberdeenshire Council the focus is on what is best for our learners;…
5G connectivity can ’empower people to restore our planet’
Six years on from the Paris Climate Accords and the world is still getting warmer. We are now seeing first-hand the impact of climate change – the floods and fires…
Cracking the code to offline computational thinking
In our digitally connected world, it can be argued that coding and especially computational thinking have become essential parts of a new ‘computing literacy’ to support traditional literacy. These computational…
Edinburgh rocket company encourages girls to reach for the stars
Since Yuri Gagarin’s maiden trip into space 60 years ago, the aerospace industry has been largely dominated by men. Men are, on average, paid £11,000 more than women. The mean…
How to keep women in tech
Discussions around the gender gap in technology tend to focus on the challenges women face when entering the sector – that is, the subjects they’re encouraged to study at school…
Putting the fun back into learning with edtech and edutainment
Life is all about learning, no matter how young or old you are. If you close your eyes for a second and think back to your school years, it will…
How Facebook took themselves off the internet… a lesson in resilience and a need to decentralise
In a post-pandemic world, one thing that we are now sure of is that we are almost completely dependent on the internet for both our social and working lives. Over…
Forget the elevator, it’s the second pitch that will help you scale new heights
What you say to industry analysts makes the difference in growth The UK is one of the most vibrant places in the world for creating tech ventures. Yet, according to…