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Education News

Monster Confidence with Stemettes

A few weeks ago, GamesNI got the chance to exhibit at a Stemettes event called Monster Confidence. Stemettes is an organisation that encourages young women into STEM fields, and Monster sponsor them to take their show on the road UK wide.

GamesNI reps arrived at 8am that day and set up several machines showing off what Northern Ireland has produced in the past few years, including a VR headset kindly lent to us by Enter Yes. It was a productive day of explaining to girls ages 14 to 20 the options available to them in video game development in Northern Ireland. 

The day itself contained multiple workshops, speed dating with specialists as well as talks from industry leaders in Northern Ireland. It was incredibly inspiring to see female leaders in the tech industry talk about what it’s been like for them working in STEM fields, including our very own Gareth Grey (honorary lady?) who took part in a panel at the end of the day. 

It was an honor for GamesNI to be able to participate in such an event and we hope to conduct many more like it in the future. 

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Education News

Innovative Game Development Academy launched

Department for Employment and Learning Deputy Secretary, Catherine Bell, today launched the first Game Development Academy at Parliament Buildings.

The Academy aims to provide 16 talented individuals with the skills and experience required to take up exciting new opportunities in the game development industry, which is a growing sector in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Bell 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 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.”ric

Targeting talented creative individuals, the Academy will offer an intensive 16-week training programme including a company placement. Successful participants will gain an industry recognised qualifications and NI Screen, through the Aim High: Gaming scheme, funded by Invest NI, will offer a 12 month game development industry placement for up to six participants on the Academy programme.

Alastair Hamilton, CEO of Invest Northern Ireland added: “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 £6bn 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, supported by Invest Northern Ireland will build on this momentum, and help shape the growth of the games industry here. It 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 NRC, in conjunction with South West College and Southern Regional College.

Applications to the Game Development Academy will close on Friday 2 October 2015 at 4pm and the training programme for successful applicants will start on 2 November 2015 at Northern Regional College (NRC), Newtownabbey campus. Applications can now be submitted online at: https://gda.mindmill.co.uk/

More information is available at: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/game-development-academy