The government may need to do more to incentivise IT consultants contracting in the field of computer games programming to remain in the UK because they are being aggressively head-hunted by companies based in the US and Canada.
A new survey by professional services consultancy Procorre found that over 50% of online job adverts for UK gaming professionals were for roles based in Canada and the US, while just 20% were for onshore positions.
The UK has acquired a well-deserved reputation for excellence in the field of computer game programming, which is why North American firms are looking to these shores to hire expert Umbrella Company Employees and other independent professionals specialising in the sector.
The UK government has, in fact, introduced some limited tax breaks to avert the brain drain this rising overseas demand could cause. Game developers that pass a test to determine whether the game is set in the UK can now claim a 25% tax break on game production; they must also have a UK-based production team and a specified number of characters from the UK.
Procorre’s relationship manager, Lisa Mangan, said that the government was right to do everything in its power to encourage these IT consultants to remain in the UK, as the computer games industry contributes significantly to the economy; however, she warned: “The danger for the UK games industry and for the wider UK economy is that many of the best and brightest will be recruited by overseas firms who may have deeper pockets and be prepared to pay more.”