October 04 / 2021

The nDreams Academy Update

It has been six months since we announced the nDreams Academy, our ongoing engagement programme creating an industry talent pipeline and showcasing our values to those interested in a career in games. Our motivation is ensuring that the games industry is both accessible and inclusive when it comes to employment opportunities, and the core pillars of the nDreams Academy champion just that. Since the initial announcement, there have been a number of developments that we’re excited to share!

Learning and Development Manager, Dan Woodward, takes us through the key areas of focus identified for the programme and how these are helping support and develop new resources covering skills gaps in the industry, and creating a more transparent and functional pathway for those interested in a career in games at any level.

Outreach

nDreams Academy Outreach will support games industry initiatives through events, workshops, game jams, and external partner programs, such as the VGA. We want to collaborate with partners who are giving back to this amazing industry and who are actively supporting growth, empowerment, and education. These include Into Games, Grads in Games, Games Careers Week, and many educational establishments with whom we have relationships. Throughout the last six months, our work has impacted approximately 2650 people through involvement in these projects. Our team have been proud to participate in:

  • 11 skills and employability workshops
  • 4 competitions
  • 5 spotlight interviews
  • 3 panel discussions
  • 4 rounds of virtual work experience through Into Games, impacting 28 students

Pipeline

nDreams Academy Pipeline will help provide opportunities for people at any age and any skill level to have access to an industry career through apprenticeships, internships, graduate placements, the government Kickstart scheme, and work experience. Those undertaking these opportunities will work with experienced members of our team, learning vital job-specific skills. We’ll also be supporting job shadowing, which will be provided through the VGA program and coordinated by Into Games. In the last six months, we’ve been incredibly happy to have…

  • Hired 2 interns (with another in progress) – 2 of whom progressed to our Graduate Programme
  • Hired 3 Graduates
  • Recruited an apprentice (with another in progress)
  • Hired 3 Kickstart employees, with 3 more positions advertised
  • We’re also supporting Ambitious about Autism, creating internship opportunities for Brunel University’s neurodiverse students in partnership with the charity

 

Upskill Me

What is easier to train, an attitude or a skill? nDreams Academy Upskill Me continually assesses our hiring methods and ongoing employee review process with a focus on hiring, or training, the right person for a role. If there is someone out there who knows Unity and not Unreal, but who is a perfect nDreams fit, we will look to employ them, referring them to our Learning and Development department to train them up into a role in the wider studio. This applies externally as well as for people looking to move to different areas of the business.

We have undertaken an overhaul of our existing Level Up Days, where team members receive 10 days per year to spend on learning and development. These are now more flexible and tie in with the training pathways development by the L&D department and line managers, demonstrating that a collaborative approach to growing skills can achieve positive results. Over half of the company now have personalised training pathways and the team will continue to develop plans for everyone else in the coming months.

Delivering Change

We’re excited to share two success stories from the nDreams Academy! Liam Van Bastelaere and Struan Forsyth, students of Howest University, joined our team after a successful period of work experience. They have both completed an internship with us, graduated in the Summer, and we’re happy to say that both have now been offered full time contracts under our nDreams Academy Graduate Program. Liam and Struan are now part of our 100+ plus development team working on exciting future VR projects.

“When we launched the nDreams Academy I had a clear view of what I wanted to achieve in terms of industry outreach, upskilling of the team, and closing the skills gaps in the company and the industry. I feel like we’re making great progress toward our goals and I’m delighted with some of the external collaborations we’re making, and the additional opportunities we are offering in empowering our staff to make choices about their personal development. We have lots to do, but it’s a great start.” Tamsin O’Luanaigh, Chief People Officer.

 

Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about the nDreams Academy or register your interest in internship and work experience opportunities, please reach out to our team on academy@ndreams.com.

If you qualify for the government Kickstart scheme, (aged 16-24, based in the UK, currently unemployed, and claiming universal credit) you can find open entry-level roles here.

 

Daniel Woodward [Learning and Development Manager]

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