With more than 1,000 vacancies available, start a lucrative gaming career

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SPENDING too much time on computer games during lockdown? Or fed up with the kids being glued to a screen?

Well, don’t be. Time spent gaming may just be the start of a successful and lucrative career.

Tom Ferguson, 29, is a photographer turned pro gamer who says ‘I took the chance and get to live my dream’

We spent a record £7billion on the pastime in last year, up 30 per cent on 2019, and this is fuelling a surge in jobs.

There are currently around 1,000 vacancies in the UK. Not only is this line of work well paid, with salaries averaging £40,000, it is also hugely varied.

Creative tech

Roles range from game designers and programmers and testers, to animators, software developers and even playing competitively for money.

The inaugural Games Careers Week, which runs from today until next Friday, sees 75 top firms from the industry come together to offer free online events and careers advice.

Rick Gibson, who is one of the week’s founders, says: “The games industry should be a poster-child for the UK’s export-driven knowledge economy. Most parents don’t know the UK supports more than 25,000 stable, exciting and well-paid jobs — which grew in number by over 12 per cent in 2020, right through the pandemic.

“We want to help diverse young people, their parents and their educators to learn more about why creative technology is so important for their futures.”

Employment Minister Mims Davies adds: “Gaming can traditionally be a rather challenging sector to break into, so it’s great to see the industry during Games Careers Week giving such exciting opportunities to young people.”

Rick Gibson, founder of The inaugural Games Careers Week, says ‘The games industry should be a poster-child for the UK’s export-driven knowledge economy’

  • For more on what is on offer in the coming days, see gamescareersweek.org.
  • To find your dream job, check out gamesjobsdirect.com, jobs.gamesindustry.biz/any/uk-and-europe, and also gradsingames.com.
  • For Kickstart job placements go to intogames.org/news/kickstart-2020-ukie.

ALL THE HOURS COUNT

SHOULD night workers clock on for an extra hour when the clocks go forward this weekend?

Alan Price of BrightHR says: “Although those who do not work at the weekend will be in bed when it happens, consider how this affects working hours and pay for those working in the early hours of Sunday.” Here is Alan’s advice.

Alan Price, of BrightHR, gives his advice on how to make more money when the clocks go forward
  1. Unlike when the clocks go back in October, employers do not need to be concerned about the risk of paying under the national minimum wage or breaking working-time rules. But employees will technically be working an hour less in a shift.
  2. Employers and employees alike must be clear on pay expectations. Salaried workers will generally get the same amount but staff paid by the hour could get less money as they are working an hour less. Check contracts to see what you are entitled to.
  3. Consider “cancelling out” the extra hour by offsetting it against the October clock change, going an hour back. Employers should ensure staff who work an hour less in March also work the night shift in October and that they do not breach minimum-wage laws.
  4. If an employee is scheduled to work on Sunday morning, they should be reminded that the clocks are going forward an hour and encouraged to prepare for this. Employee lateness can be costly for a company – and employers can discipline late workers if necessary.