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Game Development Academy launched in Northern Ireland

By Valerie Edwards

Published 22/09/2015

People playing video games. (Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
People playing video games. (Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)

The first Game Development Academy has been launched by the Department for Employment and Learning Deputy Secretary, Catherine Bell.

Participants will develop the skills and experience required for new opportunities in the game development industry, which has shown significant growth in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Bell said:“There is now a need for additional skilled people to enter the industry and the Game Development Academy will provide 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. This in turn will help to grow our local economy.”

Sixteen talented individuals will participate in an intensive 16-week training programme with the possibility of a company placement.

All participants will gain an industry recognised qualification, but only six successful individuals will receive a 12-month placement through Aim High, a training programme with NI Screen that's funded by Invest Northern Ireland.

Alastair Hamilton, CEO of Invest NI said: “I am delighted to be here today to launch Northern Ireland’s first ever Game Development Academy.

“Gaming is an emerging industry here in Northern Ireland and is worth an estimated £6billion across the UK. Invest NI is supporting many local companies in this area through programmes such as Propel and through our support of Northern Ireland Screen.

“The Game Development Academy will provide the opportunity for local talent to develop the creative skills to help them take advantage of the opportunities in one of the world’s fastest growing industries.”

The Academy has been designed by Northern Ireland’s game development companies with support from the Department for Employment and Learning, Invest NI, NI Screen and Northern Regional College (NRC), along with South West College and Southern Regional College.

Applications for the Academy will close on 2 October 2015 at 4pm and the training programme for successful applicants will start on 2 November 2015 at the NRC Newtownabbey campus.

More information is available

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