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TIGA implores UK government to protect EU migrants, warns of damage to games industry

TIGA implores UK government to protect EU migrants, warns of damage to games industry

July 5, 2016 | By Chris Kerr

UK trade association TIGA has voiced its support of EU migrants living and working in Britain. 

In the wake of the country's Brexit vote -- which will see the UK eventually leave the European Union -- TIGA says it's imperative that the existing rights of EU citizens working in the UK are protected, and is seeking assurances that those people won't be asked to leave the country further down the line. 

While it's an issue close to the heart of the UK's roughly 3 million EU migrants, it's also one that could have an adverse affect on the country's game dev scene, with roughly 15 percent of games industry workers heralding from other EU countries. 

According to TIGA CEO, Dr. Richard Wilson, those workers have been crucial to the success of the British games industry, as they continue to lend their talents to a sector with a considerable skills shortage. 

"The existing immigration cap that applies to skilled, sponsored workers will almost certainly need to be increased from 20,700 in order to accommodate the needs of UK employers in the future," said Wilson, explaining what he believes needs to happen if it becomes impossible to preserve free movement rights as they currently stand.

"Secondly, certain roles within the games sector where there is a specific skills shortage, for example, Engine Programmer, Game Analyst and Senior Game Designer, may need to be added to the Shortage Occupation List to ensure that employers can recruit the employees they need without undue delay."

Fellow trade body UKIE also promised to support and represent British game developers in the coming months, again with a focus on securing access to overseas talent and ensuring investment channels remain open.

You can find out what developers themselves think of the UK's increasingly complex divorce from the EU by checking out our recent roundtable.

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