CAN THE UK GAMES INDUSTRY CRACK SOCIAL MOBILITY IN 2024?

UK not-for-profit organisation Into Games has launched a national campaign to support more working-class people into careers in the games sector.

The body highlights the ‘dire’ social mobility stats currently in the UK games industry:

  • Only 13% of UK games staff are from low-income backgrounds.
  • 78% of people from working-class backgrounds employed in games believe the sector isn’t doing enough to level the playing field for those from low-income.
  • 59% also believe the sector to be still inaccessible or very inaccessible to those from low-income backgrounds.

Awareness of this situation was first highlighted by journalist Sam Green in a powerful YouTube piece via People Make Games.

Over the next 12 months, Into Games will implement its ‘Gameplan’ to help turn the tide and build the foundations for a fairer, more diverse sector. The plan, which highlights achievable delivery goals in 5 key areas, has been developed as a direct result of Into Games research and programme work conducted over the last four years.

The plan aims to:

  • Reach 20,000 young people in schools in areas of deprivation
  • Deliver four regional games and careers fairs in the heart of communities
  • Deliver an annual bursary aimed at supporting event, travel and equipment costs
  • Provide free training and mentorship for 150 people near work
  • Provide free leadership training for those from low-income already at work
  • Create at least 40 new in-studio work opportunities for people from low income with our national studio partners
  • Create a model for excellence in South London

Declan Cassidy, CEO of Into Games, said: “We think games is in a unique position to provide a real leg up for many people from low-income groups. Games are something that many are already deeply connected to, and we need them to be able to see that they have a place in the sector.”

“Having come from a working-class background myself, I am deeply aware of challenges that people face when having to make career decisions in difficult circumstances, and I believe that there is a wealth of untaped talent sitting right under noses if we provided a bit more support and stability at the right time and place.”

“We need better access to training, financial support at early stages, and a joined-up approach at the regional level to make a difference. We think our Gameplan for 2024 provides a good foundation to start building this infrastructure based on existing programmes.”

Women in Games CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman offered: “Into Games is right to highlight the ‘dire’ statistics of social mobility in the UK games industy, and we know that women and girls from lower socio-economic backgrounds are often discouraged from pursuing careers in tech.

“So we applaud this campaign, and look forward to seeing the results of the initiative over the coming months.”

To see the full plan and help support delivery, visit https://gameplan2024.intogames.org/