Educating the next generation
It’s been a year since we kicked off the nDreams Education programme! We had a chat with Talent Director Tamsin O’Luanaigh to see how the team has been helping promote games as a rewarding career path.
What is the nDreams Education Programme?
We love making games and we wanted to start encouraging new and emerging talent from schools and colleges into the Games industry. In January last year we set ourselves a target to speak at several primary and secondary schools, universities and at least one careers event for 2019. We wanted to inform students, and their teachers, about the variety of opportunities and pathways open to them in games and we’re also always keen to give our staff the opportunity to share their experience and to enhance their own presentation skills. Finally, we wanted to promote nDreams as an advocate for Games Development as a genuine and rewarding career path for young people.
And what did you get up to in 2019?
Accompanied by various members of the team, I visited four local schools (two primary and two secondary) and spoke to over 380 pupils aged between seven and 16 years old about the video game industry and how it can be a career for them. Many of the children didn’t realise that games had so many different types of jobs and there were big cheers for the slide that had a Fortnite image on! Senior Producer Martin and Senior Gameplay Designer Neil took part in the Creative Media Course Games Pitch Review at Farnborough College of Technology where they gave feedback on game design pitches and our Principal VFX Artist, Aaron, gave a talk at the university of Portsmouth about VFX. One of our Junior Programmers, Kalliopi, also participated in a mentoring session for students on the GamerCampPro course (that she graduated from) at Birmingham City University.
So was it just school/university talks?
No! We ran a work experience day at the studio specifically for girls age 14-18 to give them a taste of the industry and we participated in the Guildford Games Festival showcasing the studio and industry as a viable career for young people in the region. We’re a proud sponsor of the Grads in Games Search For a Star 2019/20 programme again with our team members talking at Southampton, Portsmouth, Westminster and Staffordshire universities about access into the Games industry and I am involved with www.IntoGames.Org. Into Games has some great initiatives launching this year including a mentoring programme for the games industry. I am pleased many people and companies are trying to take steps toward making our industry more accessible, showing young people what careers and opportunities are open to them is one way to facilitate this. The team at nDreams are hugely supportive of our endeavour and thankfully we have lots of volunteers.
What will 2020 bring?
The feedback we had from the activities we did was so positive we want to try and expand our reach this year by increasing the number of primary and secondary school talks from two to three each, and by also increasing the number of university talks we do. We want to develop skills in-house and plan to hire an apprentice in our finance team and are looking to hire more graduates into our development. We will be re-running the work experience workshop for girls but will extend it to two days so they can get the best out of the session. We’re also looking to take on two school/college work experience placements for a week.
By enabling the wider HR & recruitment team, along with the Dev team, to deliver these activities we are hoping that we can have a positive influence on our community and the long-term prospects for our industry. We want to share what an exciting place the Games industry can be for anyone and everyone!
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