Update: Traineeship in Games Writing

By Sara Veal, September 25, 2020 · Failbetter

We’ve had a fantastic response so far to the traineeship we announced yesterday. We’ve also had a number of responses that while predictable are still disappointing, and confirm the need for the kind of opportunity we’re offering.

There are claims that what we are doing – offering a paid traineeship to Black candidates – is illegal. The below is an addendum to the FAQ section of the original post regarding the opportunity:

Is it lawful to restrict this opportunity to Black candidates?

Yes. When we’ve advertised employment opportunities, Black applicants have repeatedly been disproportionately underrepresented.

It’s lawful in the UK to take positive action to address such inequalities.  When considering how to do that, we decided to offer a paid traineeship.

This is not a job: it’s a training opportunity that we hope will assist the person who undertakes it in finding employment in the games industry.  The successful candidate will follow a training plan with explicit learning objectives; they will be invited to block out time for activities that will benefit their understanding of working in games development, such as asking non-writers on our team about their disciplines.

We’re dedicating far more resources to this traineeship than we would a position of employment. This is something we see as a long-term investment – committing resources now in order to build up the studio’s ability to bring in new and different voices, and to make the industry as a whole more fair.

As for why it’s paid – we want to ensure it’s available regardless of a candidate’s financial circumstances, as far as possible.

This year’s events, and the Black Lives Matter protests, created a greater sense of urgency around equity and diversity in the game industry. But these are persistent, long-running problems; they can only be addressed with committed and on-going action.

Different companies are positioned to offer different things. It happens that we have a robust writing team and quite a bit of experience working with junior writers, so this kind of traineeship seemed like the best way to use our resources. But we’d be very excited to see what other companies might do, given their own resources, to proactively bring more underrepresented groups into the game industry.

More info on the opportunity here.

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