Microsoft announces Xbox Academy to ‘inspire the next generation’ of game developers

Programme will form part of Microsoft’s “Work Experience Week” in May

Louis Chilton
Saturday 01 May 2021 17:35
A Microsoft Xbox Elite controller, photographed in 2018
A Microsoft Xbox Elite controller, photographed in 2018

Microsoft has announced it will host a digital Xbox Academy aiming to “inspire the next generation of games creators in the UK”.

The online programme, which is timed to coincide with “Work Experience Week”, comes after experts warned that the UK is heading towards a “catastrophic” digital skills shortage.

According to figures from the Learning & Work Institute, the number of young people taking IT subjects at GCSE level has declined 40 per cent since 2015.

As part of the Xbox Academy, students in years nine and 10 of secondary school (aged 13 to 15) will be able to hear from senior executives, such as Microsoft UK CEO Clare Barclay and Director of Education Chris Rothwell.

The scheme is being run in partnership with Rare, the games studio behind the Bafta-winning Sea of Thieves, along with Microsoft Education and East London Arts and Music (ELAM).

“We’re so excited that our Rare team is going to be delivering a session for the Xbox Academy,” said Craig Duncan, Rare’s studio head.

“The future is so bright for games and we’re passionate about helping educate and inspire the next generation of games professionals, giving them insights to help them choose a career within our industry.”

The event will take place on the afternoon of Monday, 10 May 2021.

You can find more information about Xbox Academy here.

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