Sumo Digital delivers first Government recognised games development apprenticeship scheme

See all news 5th July 2022 Sumo Academy News

Sumo Digital’s apprenticeship scheme has become the first in the UK games industry to be recognised by the government and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

The course, led by Director of Education Partnerships, Dr Jacob Habgood, teaches Level 7 Game Programming and is the first of its kind to provide participants with qualifications upon graduation.

This year’s cohort of apprentices began their learning in January 2022, beginning with C++ training before moving onto practical application through project work. Upon delivery of the project, the cohort will move onto Unreal Engine training and then placement experience and potential employment opportunities.

The development of this pioneering course has been led by Sumo Digital with support from Rare, nDreams, Co-operative Innovations, PlayStation London Studio, Hutch Games and Aardvark Swift, all of which will commence their programmes in September.

Last year, the Sumo Digital Academy - a talent development initiative aiming to create new pathways into the games industry - welcomed its ‘trailblazer’ cohort, who joined on a 12-month internship and helped to shape the apprenticeship programme. All of this cohort subsequently went on to receive employment offers from Sumo Digital to kickstart their careers.

Director of Education Partnerships at Sumo Digital, Dr Jacob Habgood, said: “I’m so proud to be delivering this trailblazing programme of learning and opening pathways into the games industry. Through our work with educational partners, we’re able to provide opportunities for those who previously haven’t had easy access into the industry and I’m so excited to be helping to shape the future of games.”

The launch of this programme follows a report by Into Games from late 2021 which identified that over half of the games industry in the UK said it did not have the understanding required to offer apprenticeships to future talent. With 50.3% saying they had willingness to take on apprentices in the next 12 months ‘if the conditions were right’ but the majority said they had ‘little to no understanding’ of how apprenticeships work. Some of the largest barriers to adoption of apprentices in the games sector were ‘diversion of resources towards an apprentice’, ‘a general lack of knowledge about the apprenticeship process’ and ‘any extra costs involved’.

Discover more about the Sumo Digital Academy, including how to get involved and who can apply here.

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