South Wales college makes major gaming investment

Coleg y Cymoedd is investing £100k in a bid to help students prepare for careers in the gaming industry

A South Wales further education institution is investing £100k in a bid to help students prepare for careers in the gaming industry.

Coleg y Cymoedd – ‘College of The Valleys’ – has spent half of the sum on an industry-standard gaming room on its Aberdare campus, while the remainder will fund a bespoke IT and animation room at its Rhondda base.

The rooms will serve as a focal point for two new courses focused on video game design and development.

“We are excited to introduce our new qualifications and welcome our first cohort of learners to our new specialist gaming suite,” said David Howells, head of Coleg y Cymoedd’s computing and engineering school. “These courses and facilities will help give learners the skills they need to enter the growing gaming industry.

“We are seeing huge demand for digital skills from employers. The gaming industry, in particular, is seeing an increase in popularity, both in our local community and around the world.”

In 2019, the Entertainment Retailers Association valued the sector at £3.86bn in the UK alone.

“It is important to us that we match the rapid development of this sector – and the growing interest in careers within it – with suitable qualifications that will give learners the transferrable digital skills they need to prosper in the gaming industry,” added Howells.

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The new courses are the result of a collaboration between the creative industries and computing and engineering departments.

“Our new course provisions will help to meet the growing appetite for gaming that we are seeing from both learners and industry,” said Rory Meredith, the college’s head of creative industries.

“By working together across departments, we can ensure learners develop the full repertoire of skills they will need to enter the modern gaming industry, helping prepare them for potential careers in a range of different roles.”

As well as investing in facilities, Coleg y Cymoedd is planning to broaden students’ experience by establishing its own nationally competing eSports team.

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