Visual effects and games companies team up to create new skills academy

Darren Evans

Some of the UK’s leading visual effects, animation and video game companies have joined forces to create a new skills academy.

The consortium, which includes James Bond producers Pinewood Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, secured almost £6.5 million from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

The Next Gen Skills Academy, which will be led by Amersham and Wycombe College and leading motion capture company Centroid, will help develop the next generation of talented animators, games designers and visual effects artists.

It will offer a range of courses from new entry level qualifications to higher level apprenticeships, as well as short courses and online learning.

A regional network of further education colleges will be established across England, delivering more than 1,300 qualifications, including 150 apprenticeship starts and more than 1,000 online courses.

Business Secretary Vince Cable called visual effects and games companies a “great British success story”.

“But if we’re to maintain our cutting-edge position, we need to make sure that we have the talent and skills the industry needs,” he added.  “That is why the Creative Industries Strategy places skills development as a key priority for the future growth of this important sector.”

The strategy, launched in July, aims to bring businesses and government to work together to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader.

Mark Sellis, principal of Amersham and Wycombe College, said : “We are excited to be involved in such a unique opportunity to develop industry relevant qualifications that are both designed with and validated by industry.”

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Darren Evans

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