Participants on the Game Development Academy have been showcasing their skills and talents to games industry experts at an event at Northern Regional College’s Newtownabbey campus. The Academy, launched by the Department for Employment and Learning in September 2015, is a collaborative initiative between Northern Regional College, Southern Regional College and South West College. It has given 16 talented creative individuals the skills and experience over the last 12 weeks required to take up exciting new opportunities in the growing game development industry.
All participants will now move onto a four week work placement. Following this placement, six students will be offered a year long industry placement through the Aim High: Gaming scheme, funded by Northern Ireland Screen and BBC Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the Academy, Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry said: “The IT industry and specifically the game development sector has shown significant growth here in recent years. There is now a need for additional skilled people to enter the industry and this Game Development Academy provides the skills required to allow people to gain opportunities in local companies.
“Delivered through my Department’s Assured Skills initiative, this Academy proves that Government, the private sector and our further education colleges can respond quickly to industry needs by designing a bespoke programme to meet the skills need of the sector.”
Academy Co-ordinator Andrew Anderson said: “This is an exciting initiative which has given the students the necessary experience to work in the games industry. The students will have the opportunity to take part in a placement that sees them work alongside industry professionals in the games industry environment.”