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October 25, 2006
For immediate release

Premier Announces IT Initiative for Island Youth

Development and Technology

Premier Pat Binns and Hon. Mike Currie, Minister of Development and Technology, today announced a new initiative to encourage Island youth to pursue exciting careers in the information technology sector.

The Premier said interested young Islanders, ages 12-18, are being asked to register for the Game Force Designer’s Program, that will give them valuable experience in the video game development industry by learning to design their own video games. It is anticipated there will be a large number of opportunities for employment in PEI in this emerging IT sector over the next five years.

“The program will be a great exercise for participants to use math skills, creative writing, physics, problem solving and artistry while considering a dynamic future career that is now possible here on PEI,” said the Premier, adding there are currently four video game development companies operating in the Atlantic Technology Centre, employing over 30 people. That number is expected to more than double in the next 12 months.

“Our Government continues to work closely with the private sector to develop exciting new jobs and opportunities for Islanders. We are in the early stages, but we are excited about the growth of our existing companies as well as our prospects in bringing like-minded companies to the province in the future.”

Each program is one week long and will be launched at different locations throughout PEI. Young Islanders will learn the basics of 2D and 3D video game development that includes story creation, level design, animations, bringing objects and characters to life, mouse and keyboard input and sound effects. It will give basic tools to young Islanders which will help them gain entry into post-secondary institutions and, eventually, exciting jobs in PEI.

“In a short time, we have developed a growing cluster of video game development companies that are successfully competing in a global industry that is worth almost $30 billion,” said Minister Currie. “This is exciting because it is provides potential opportunities for our youth to live and work on PEI in an industry they would otherwise have to explore in other parts of North America.”

Careers in this industry include game artists, game developers, animators and programmers, with an average salary of more than $40,000.

Media Contact: Dennis King
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