Tuesday, February 2, 2016

News: Aardvark Swift helping grads in games

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Rotherham-based Aardvark Swift, one of the UK's top recruitment firms for the video games industry, is continuing to support graduates by linking industry and academia.

Established in 1989, Aardvark Swift was the first recruitment agency to dedicate its services to the video games industry. Based at Nightingale Court on the edge of Rotherham town centre, the firm helps major players such as Microsoft, Sony, EA and Nokia recruit the stars of tomorrow. Expanding into new areas such as toys and licensing, managing director Ian Goodall bought the company outright in 2012.

Trade body, TIGA states that the UK games industry employs over 9,000 highly skilled development staff, 80% of whom are employed outside of London. It adds that the UK games development sector contributes approximately £1 billion to UK Gross Domestic Product per annum.

Recruiting right up to board level, Aardvark Swift plays a key role in helping to increase the employability of students and graduates. It launched Grads in Games in 2014, with a mission to unify all games graduate activities, information, advice and jobs in one place.

The initiative is built around Get in the Game – the company's nationwide tour of careers talks delivered to over 3,000 games students across UK universities. Each year, experts travel the country with a team of professional games developers to provide careers information, guidance, knowledge and experience directly from studios. The tour hit 60 universities in seven weeks in 2015 and even delivered careers advice talks to students at Brinsworth Academy in Rotherham.

Grads in Games also includes a showcase event - Search For A Star – a series of critically acclaimed annual talent competitions, with challenges designed and assessed by games industry professionals. Prizes include guaranteed opportunities for internships and jobs at leading UK games studios including Sumo Digital and Playground Games. In 2015, 80% of students who qualified for the second round were able to get a games industry job on graduation.

The Grads In Games initiative recently received a TIGA games industry award in the "Best Education Initiative & Talent Development" category.

Ian Goodall, MD of Aardvark Swift and founder of Grads In Games, said "We've invested so much into improving graduate employability over the years and it's been excellent to have so many students, universities and games studios coming together to support us. Having our work recognised with a TIGA award is a massive achievement and one we're all exceptionally proud of."

Aardvark Swift website

Images: Aardvark Swift

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