The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) and the Sault Ste. Marie Education Partners (SSMEP) have teamed up to undertake a needs assessment of the Canadian gaming industry, with the goal of creating a national approach to gaming-centric education.
With total industry revenues of more than $16 billion (2010), the Canadian gaming industry has evolved significantly over the past two decades and now offers customers a more diverse and enriched entertainment experience. However, 20 years of growth and change have also exposed the need to provide gaming industry professionals with greater educational and training opportunities.
Gaming in Canada is highly labour intensive. The industry has created thousands of jobs in nearly every province, supporting more than 128,000 full-time jobs, and provides a valuable source of non-tax revenue for governments across the country.
In order to identify the specific training and education requirements that gaming operators, regulators and suppliers have for their employees, the CGA and SSMEP, which consists of Algoma University, Sault College, and the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), are undertaking a multi-phased national needs assessment that includes both a questionnaire and face-to-face interviews in jurisdictions across the country.
“With a mandate to create a better understanding of the Canadian gaming industry through education, CGA will take a leadership role in offering relevant and exclusive training for those working in gaming,” said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “The first step is the needs assessment, which is unprecedented in our industry, and we are very fortunate to draw on the expertise of the SSMEP. CGA’s ultimate goal is to ensure that programs meeting a set of nationally-recognized standards are delivered in co-operation with education institutions across the country.”
“The SSMEP partners are excited to take part in this important national study that will help position Sault Ste. Marie as a national leader in lottery and gaming education and training,” said Tom Vair, Executive Director, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. “Together, CGA and SSMEP will develop a progressive model for acquiring, creating and disseminating educational content across the country, and the partners will be instrumental in producing ground-breaking insight into the specialized training needs of this important industry.”
The Canadian Gaming Summit in June in Ottawa and Gatineau will offer further opportunities for the needs assessment process, including an update of progress and findings to date.
CGA and SSMEP are working towards a deadline of October to share results and discuss next steps with the Canadian gaming industry. The final deliverable will be a Canadian gaming curriculum, developed using existing material from industry leaders as well as Canadian and global education partners.