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Silicon Spa highlighted at Warwickshire College ministerial event…

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Mariane Cavalli Warwickshire CollegeLeamington’s enviable position at the centre of the British computer gaming industry has been highlighted during a special meeting at Warwickshire College.

The round-table event, which was held at the college’s Trident centre in Warwick, saw industry experts and college representatives talk with Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey and MP for Leamington, Chris White.

The delegation heard from Mariane Cavalli, Principal and CEO who spoke about the training and qualifications the college is offering to students in Games Art, which have been developed with the direct help of local employers.  And they were also introduced to some of the students already benefitting from this industry input.

Mariane Cavalli (pictured), Principal and CEO of Warwickshire College, said: “Warwickshire College is proud to have hosted this landmark round-table event.

“This event is just one of many industry engagement activities we are undertaking as the area’s Gazelle Local college.  As a Gazelle college we are committed to transforming education through enterprise and entrepreneurship, and working with local employers, understanding their needs and developing students to fit in with those needs is central to our success.

“Gazelle provides an opportunity to engage with established entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs and innovators and to bring that experience into the heart of Further Education. “

Delegates discussed the success of the gaming industry in the Leamington area and the ways that this success could be further capitalised upon.  They also asked for a greater awareness of the UK gaming industry – and said that many people did not realise just how many world-renowned games were being created right here in Leamington Spa.

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Leamington has a proud history of video game production, and it’s brilliant to see Warwickshire College helping to train up the next generation of developers. Government recognises the important contribution the creative industries makes to the economy and is committed to supporting their continued growth. We are providing co-investment for entry and professional level training for up to 3300 people in the video games, film, television and animation sectors over the next two years.”

Chris White MP for Leamington added: I was pleased that the Minister was able to visit Leamington and to meet with the students at Warwickshire College and its excellent leadership team.

“The college is an important part of our local economy, providing the skills and training businesses need and I believe it can play a significant role in the growth of the video games sector locally. I hope to continue to work closely with the college and support initiatives, like Gazelle Local, which have the potential to build new partnerships with local businesses.”

Dr Philip Oliver CEO of Blitz Games Studios, who was just one of the guests attending the event, said: “It’s fantastic to bring all the local stakeholders into one room to discuss the issues.  As a very important industry to Leamington we’ve an enormous number of people driving the economy – something like 1,500 people across something like 12 companies.

“All these companies are then selling globally, exporting Leamington Spa so getting them all in a room to discuss the challenges and working with the local education authority, and in particular with Warwickshire College is awesome.”

For more information on Games Art courses at Warwickshire College, visit http://www.warwickshire.ac.uk or call 0300 45 600 45.

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