CEO of games and interactive entertainment trade body Ukie, has today used a speech at the ‘How Labour can put small business first’ event, held at the party’s Conference, to comment on the announcement by Ed Milliband that Labour would introduce a new Technical Baccalaureate qualification.
Commenting on the ‘TechBacc’ announcement, Dr Twist said: “We need more young people knowing how to code, how to be creative with code, and how to be the next generation of digital entrepreneurs, so I welcome any announcement that looks at how we can improve how people learn relevant skills that allow them to work with and create technology. I would welcome the opportunity to work with the Labour party so that the Technical Baccalaureate can be rigorous and relevant to create this new generation.”
Dr Twist further emphasised the importance of skills to the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry, particularly of getting children learning computer science and art:
Dr Twist said that work should continue with this government to deliver the skills required by the games industry: “Through our Next Gen Skills campaign, we have successfully called for computer science to be introduced on to the national curriculum and as of this month it is there. But the job is not yet done and we now need enough teachers to teach it, in an engaging and exciting way.
But we also need artists, as it is in the mix of technology and art that much innovation comes from. Our education system needs to recognise this and encourage cross over and collaboration between different educational disciplines.”
Dr Twist also used the ‘How Labour can put small business first’ event to call for more to be done to improve access to finance for the UK’s games businesses, citing crowdfunding as a viable and sustainable source of non-bank lending.
Dr Twist said: “As an innovative industry, the games industry is always embracing innovative funding models. And we’re seeing more and more games companies successfully use crowdfunding to bring money to their businesses.”
“We’re also seeing a number of UK crowdfunding platforms emerge. We believe that crowdfunding can fill a real gap that exists for games businesses that cannot get support from banks or VCs. However, the current regulatory system is, understandably, not designed with crowdfunding in mind and creates barriers for crowdfunding platforms to be established and to operate as effectively as possible.
“Recognition from the FSA of the existence and potential of crowdfunding as a separate, unique form of financing, followed by the creation of regulations covering crowdfunding as a distinct model or platform, will be crucial in accelerating the growth of this industry and its offering to the wider UK economy.”
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