An open letter from Ian Livingstone calls on the games industry workforce to tell government the skills it needs

A call to action

At the beginning of August, Ed Vaizey, the Culture Minister, asked me to lead an Independent Review of Skills for the Video Games industry being produced by NESTA in close collaboration with Skillset. I want to invite you to be part of this. It’s an opportunity to transform the UK into the world hotbed of games production talent. The government is listening and we need to make our voice heard.

We want this review to be a first in many respects: in being truly led by industry, and in speaking not only to the government, but also to the young people, teachers and parents whose perceptions we want to change.

Ultimately, it should raise the visibility of video games as a buzzing sector full of potential for the brightest graduates, and as source of national advantage that the government can’t afford to ignore.

But if we are going to convince them to change the way our education system works, we need to make as robust a case as we can. In order to achieve this, we have tasked our team at NESTA with an ambitious programme to get under the skin of the problem, and to gather a robust evidence base on the whole of the talent pipeline, from schools into universities and industry.
As part of this research, we want to speak to you, both as employers, and as members of the video games workforce.

We have produced two surveys, and we want as many of you as possible to participate. If you are an employer, you may already have received a letter from me. Responding to the survey will only take you ten minutes or so. Please take the time to make your voice heard.

If you are an employee of a video games company, our Talent Survey can be found at Once again, we have designed this questionnaire to capture all the relevant information as quickly as possible. We also want to learn from those who couldn’t find a job in the industry because education failed to provide them with the right skills.

We will be reporting in the New Year – until then, we will be working hard to deliver a blueprint for change in the UK’s educational system, so that our companies can access the kind of talent they need to stay on top, creatively and commercially. Please help us to accomplish this with your participation in our surveys.

Best regards,


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