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UK VFX industry given boost in battle to tackle skills shortages

In the ongoing battle to retain and develop skills shortages in the UK VFX industry, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that key job roles that are essential to the continued growth of the UK’s visual effects (VFX) industry, be added or retained on the Government’s ‘shortage occupation list’. If accepted by Government, UK companies will find it easier to hire imported talent in roles where there is a shortage of skilled UK workers.

Skillset’s chief executive, Dinah Caine, commented: “These recommendations are good news not just for the VFX industry, but also computer games and animation who will benefit from being able to access this talent in the short term.

“However these measures are not an end in themselves. Skillset is working with the VFX industry and the UK’s higher education community through our accreditation programme to develop the world-class education and training that we need to fill these roles with home grown talent in the future.”

Skillset and the UK Screen Association worked extensively with MAC to advise on the roles that were necessary for the industry’s continued growth, but where skilled UK workers were in short supply.

The report recommends adding five new VFX roles (2D supervisor; 3D supervisor; software developer; shader writer and stereo artist) while removing six current roles no longer deemed to be in shortage (animation supervisor; editor; R&D tools; R&D software; rigging supervisor and software engineer)

Twelve roles already on the list are to be retained including animator; compositing artist; computer graphics supervisor; matte painter; modeller; producer; production manager; rigger; systems engineer; technical director; texture artist; and visual effects supervisor.

It is hoped the new revised list will help the UK keep pace with technological developments such as the boom in stereoscopic film production.

Chief Executive of UK Screen Association, Sarah Mackey, said: “British companies are at the forefront of VFX both creatively and technologically. It is essential that our members are able to recruit the right skills globally while the UK develops those skills for the next generation.”

The full MAC report, Skilled, Shortage, Sensible can be found at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/workingwithus/mac/skilled-shortage-sensible/. The relevant section is pp.161-173.

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One Response to UK VFX industry given boost in battle to tackle skills shortages

  1. iHowie Reply

    September 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Really UK? After literally stealing VFX film work from US effects houses by offering deep government tax incentives directly to wealthy Hollywood film studios, you now make it easier to steal veteran US VFX artists as well? For shame!

    US VFX artsts are loosing their jobs, their houses, their savings, and now their families as they are forced to seek work overseas to make ends meet. For shame!

    What really hurts is that the jobs you create are barely living wage for folks having to work in London. Let along transplants from the US who now must live 4 to an apartment so they can send a little salary back home. For shame!

    Thanks UK Gov for taking away the livelihood of hundreds and hundreds of US VFX artist and turning that work into a barely tenable living situation.

    Hope you get as much as you give.

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