Esports Futures – levelling up digital skills through games

Warwick Skills Hub and the University of Warwick have teamed up to deliver a life-changing programme for economically inactive young people aged 16–25 in the county to learn digital skills through esports.

Approaching its last few sessions, the Esports Futures opportunity is calling for up to 70 more young people to join them on a special one-day opportunity on the 25th May. There is no cost to anyone that takes part, as travel and catering is fully covered by the programme, which is part of the UK Government's Community Renewal Fund.

Many parents and carers share a concern that video games are having a negative effect on young people, especially with engagement in this industry vastly increasing across the pandemic. However, the esports and games industry has quickly grown to eclipse the music industry amongst other creative markets in its global revenue.

Comfortably worth over £1billion world-wide, video games have created thousands of jobs in the UK and is continuing to do so at a very quick pace. The University of Warwick is already supporting students and the local community in this area, with its nationally leading esports teams and state-of-the-art Esports Centre, which is where the Esports Futures activity take place!

To use this exciting world of work and this area of interest for so many young people as a catalyst to learning, Warwick Skills Hub are providing a careers experience delivered by the University of Warwick. Normally a two-day experience (with one more standard session available on 23-24th May), the benefits and learnings have been consolidated into one afternoon of digital skills at the end of May, with the following day, Thursday 26th, being a showcase, open to all participants, teachers, and parents/carers that have been involved across the last few months.

On the programme, the participants have created an esports tournament, played in the competition that they have created it, and then learnt how to market an event like that through graphics design and video editing. These designs and movies will be consolidated into a short film and shown at the University of Warwick’s Arts Centre, broadcasted on their brand-new cinema screens. To celebrate the achievement of all that have taken part, students will also receive talks from industry leaders and an opportunity to network with leading esports and gaming professionals.

The programme focuses on teaching these highly transferable teamworking and interpersonal skills as well as building up the foundations of using high-level free-access editing software which each person can continue their graphics design and video editing after the programme. Added in with the opportunity to meet industry leaders, the goal of Esports Futures is to provide long-term learnings for each participant, not just to work in games but to understand the need for digital and interpersonal skills in all worlds of work.

Supporting the next generation of event organisers, hospitality workers, or esports players, this innovative learning experience is nearing completion but there is still an opportunity to sign up. Find out even more and sign yourself, your young people, or your college students up at https://warwick.ac.uk/esports/programmes/esports_futures, or get in touch directly with our Esports Outreach Officer Bianca.Buhaev@warwick.ac.uk

If you are a teacher or other educational provider reading this and thinking that a similar programme would be great for your students or young people, then please get in touch. We are also delivering a similar programme for Year 8s with the Skills Hub and can provide bespoke experiences for any organisation that wants to work with the Esports Centre. All enquiries welcome at https://warwick.ac.uk/esports/

* The Warwickshire Brighter Futures project has received £1.1 million pound from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fundprospectus

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