Changes to the UK immigration system have been criticised as a “short-term headache” for the UK games industry by UKIE.
Earlier this week, the Home Secretary announced that the earning threshold for overseas workers to get a Skilled Worker visa would be increased by almost 50 per cent, going from £26,200 to £38,700. According to the government, these changes would mean “around 300,000 people who came to the UK last year would now not be able to come.”
UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment), the “trade body for the UK games and interactive entertainment industry”, has criticised these changes in a new statement, claiming that the change in visas will affect “roughly 2800 roles in the industry – or approximately 12 per cent of the direct UK workforce”.
According to UKIE, the announcement presents not only a “short-term headache for companies but stands to exacerbate a long-term structural issue and in term rusks making the UK a less attractive place to set up or scale a games business.”
Sackboy: A Big Adventure. Credit Sumo Digital
UKIE previously held a census that indicated that “the UK games industry has around 29 per cent of roles filled with people from outside of the UK.” They also claim that this census covers roles throughout the industry, meaning this includes “junior, mid-level, senior roles, studio leads, and other managerial roles”.
The main issue, according to UKIE, is that “this will compound serious issues that are already being felt across the UK industry,”
“The UK games industry contributes £6billion to our economy despite a relatively small workforce and is spread across the UK- not just concentrated in London and the South East,” UKIE wrote.
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