Up to 60 young people a year looking to work in the global gaming industry now have the opportunity to get on the first rung of the ladder with the arrival of a top European gaming school in Manchester called Playground Squad UK.
Based in Sweden, PlaygroundSquad is a successful training company in the gaming industry, recognised by leading Games companies such as Sony PlayStation and Electronic Arts (EA) as a training ground for their employees. The new Manchester school, which will be based at The Sharp Project, Manchester’s digital production complex in Newton Heath, will be the first of its kind in the UK and only the second in the world to publish games for PlayStation.
PlaygroundSquad, who have 14 years’ experience of delivering training in gaming and work with some of the industry’s biggest names, has partnered with The Manchester College, Manchester City Council, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and The Sharp Project to offer the paid apprenticeships in Game Design, Game Programming and Game Art.
Sue Woodward OBE, Director of The Sharp Project and Manchester’s Creative Media Champion said: “It’s fantastic to have persuaded Magnus to make Manchester the first overseas home for PlaygroundSquad. They were targeted as they are world leaders in gaming training. This is the final part of The Sharp Project jigsaw. Five years ago we planned to introduce a games facility to the building. It was always part of the plan, so it’s great to see it come to fruition. The Sharp Project is fast becoming a hub for gaming and skills associated with all kinds of creative digital content from network drama to forensics. Our talented tenants are producing material for a multi-platform world, a world that once was so fragmented but one we have created under one roof. That was the whole point of The Sharp Project – to shift the north from analogue content to converged media. Job done.”
The apprenticeships will give young people aged 16 years and above hands-on, industry-relevant training in the digital gaming industry. In Sweden, over 80 per cent of those completing the two year course find employment post training.
The first free course starts next month and includes a total of 800 hours of training together with work on live industry projects.