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It takes a village: The path to a global creative workforce
Sep 6, 2023|7 Min
It takes a village: The path to a global creative workforce

As I write this, the world is heating up, women are owning summer spending, and predictions about how AI will change the workforce abound. What’s more, the northern hemisphere is heading “back to school” and reminding us all how misaligned our education and workforce systems can be. Continuous upskilling throughout our careers is now the norm, and this is more urgent than ever as we keep hearing predictions about how AI will change the workforce.

I’ve shared with you my thoughts on how to prepare future generations for tomorrow’s economy and the talent gaps that continue to grow across industries exploring new technologies. Globally, our customers regularly tell me that their biggest challenge is finding qualified talent.

Today, I’d like to dive more deeply into some of the efforts we’re making as a company to try and tackle these challenges.

The workforce of the future
Africacomicade participants smile and pose in a group photo.
Africacomicade participants smile and pose in a group photo.

With an aim to fuel more opportunities for more people, this year we established the Unity Workforce Grant, a partnership with Jobs for the Future. The open request for proposals received over 700 submissions from higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies that are working to support the next generation of real-time 3D creators. Grant recipients are awarded up to $200,000 USD to train learners for the purpose of job readiness and career placement.

We are thrilled that so many programs share our enthusiasm for unlocking opportunities for learners to access in-demand careers in immersive technologies. The notable projects selected by the team of over 60 judges include:

  • University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication & Media (NSCM) Games and Interactive Media (GaIM) program, which offers professional training in AR/VR to undergraduates and adult learners
  • Africacomicade Spark Fellowship, which provides learners across sub-Saharan Africa with digital creative skill sets in game development
  • Do It Greener Foundation, a Louisiana-based non-profit creating a real-time 3D technology hub designed to recruit, support, and serve young learners from underrepresented populations
  • XR Bootcamp, a company with the mission of increasing diversity in the XR industry

As Oscar Michael, cofounder of Africacomicade, put it, “The global video games and interactive media industry is rapidly growing, positioning itself as a soft power tool and creating massive opportunities for socioeconomic development. Since [our founding], we have been at the forefront of advocating the potential of the African video game industry, and now, thanks to Unity, will be building a competent talent pipeline within the sector.”

One of my biggest takeaways in reviewing the hundreds of submissions is how transferable these skills are to other industries. Teaching real-time 3D is not just about technical skills, but about learning durable skills like communication, collaboration, creative thinking, and cultivating a growth mindset. These are the skills in highest demand among 21st-century employers across all industries.

To learn more about 2023 recipients, visit the Unity Workforce Grant page.

Impact in Indonesia
Google Play x Unity Game Developer Training program participants (left to right) Gerardo Keandre Lisrianto, Muhammad Ramadhan Rizki Daulay, and Ahmad Tuflihun
Google Play x Unity Game Developer Training program participants (left to right) Gerardo Keandre Lisrianto, Muhammad Ramadhan Rizki Daulay, and Ahmad Tuflihun

In 2022, at an event in Indonesia, Google Play announced a joint partnership with Unity and the Indonesian Game Association: the Google Play x Unity Game Developer Training program. This program opened opportunities for game developers and students at 21 Indonesian universities to receive training and certification from Unity.

To offer a glimpse at what this means, let’s hear from three participants who passed their exams and are now Unity Certified Associate Game Developers.

Since joining the program, Muhammad Ramadhan Rizki Daulay, a 23-year-old from Medan, has become a junior programmer at Digital Breeze Interactive. Of the experience, he shared, “Through this program, I made new friends and connections in the game industry and also opened new collaborations. It’s suitable for anyone who wants to start a career in the game industry or even those that are already in the industry.”

For Ahmad Tuflihun, a 23-year-old from Pontianak who now has a career as an augmented reality developer at nuMetagen, becoming a Unity Certified Associate Game Developer motivated him to test his abilities and improve his skills.

“Participating in a certification exam is very important, especially for someone who is not confident in their abilities or doesn't have the courage to start a career in their desired field,“ explained Ahmad.

Finally, as a person who has been highly interested in game development since high school, the opportunity to become a junior Unity developer at Magnus Digital Indonesia was a dream come true for Gerardo Keandre Lisrianto, a 22-year-old from Bekasi. “Joining this training program helped me learn to create a good ecosystem and workflow for the game developer team, how to plan a project and develop it, and also know the best practices in Unity game development,” said Gerardo.

Partnering with Google is more than double the value for future creators as they become upskill in both real-time 3D creation and publishing on Google Play. The most exciting part for us is hearing about the increased confidence and sense of agency that grows from learning opportunities like this.

The world is truly a better place with more creators in it. To continue following our journey toward building the next generation of immersive tech innovators and creators, keep an eye out for my next update and subscribe to the Social Impact mailing list.