Guild Esports (LSE: GILD), a global team organisation and lifestyle brand, is pleased to announce the launch of Guild College to provide a new career pathway for young people into apprenticeships, professional roles and higher education related to the esports industry.
As part of this new venture, Guild has entered a four–year partnership with SCL Education, a leading UK–based provider of post–16 further education specialising in sports, which will provide a one–year BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Esports and a further two–year BTEC Esports Level 3 Extended Diploma as a progression route.
Guild Esports will receive a four–figure sum from SCL Education for every student enrolled into the course. SCL Education projections for total student intake for the course in the first year of the programme, based on their existing comparable courses, is 125 individual learners. This funding will stem in part from a subcontracting agreement with SCL Education, which holds a direct contract with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), an executive agency of the UK Government sponsored by the Department for Education.
SCL Education, as experienced providers of BTEC qualifications for clubs like Leeds United College and the West Ham Foundation, will manage the programme on behalf of Guild resulting in minimal additional spend or increased headcount at the Company.
The course will be delivered through 600 guided learning hours per student over the course of the academic year, in line with UK official further education study programme requirements. The Company’s facilities will support the delivery of the esports BTEC qualification including student access to Guild’s HQ facility in Shoreditch for technical and practical workshops.
Enrolment for the course will commence immediately, with the programme welcoming its first cohort(s) of students in September 2023.
The new BTEC qualification is skills–focused and will support the creation of long–term careers in the growing esports industry both in the UK and internationally. The esports industry is projected to generate revenues of approximately $1.38 billion globally by the end of 2022, with the total esports audience set to rise 8.7% year on year to reach 532 million individuals at year end (source: Newzoo, 2022).
SCL Education will also support Guild Academy growth through the delivery of elite programmes focused on pro–player development, and community outreach programmes with the goal of positively impacting 1,000 children through esports in 2023.
Kal Hourd, Chief Executive at Guild Esports, said: “Our pioneering course leverages Guild’s position as one of Europe’s leading team organisations and will furnish learners with the opportunity to obtain a Level Two Diploma to support their career ambitions in a fast–growing industry worth more than £1 billion. By getting involved in grassroots esports development in the UK, Guild will also support a pipeline of talent both in terms of the star players of tomorrow and future esports business leaders.
“While the esports further education sector in the UK is fast growing, regular access to the state–of–the–art facilities of a fully–fledged global esports organisation is a first for a post–16 esports course and something no other learners in the country currently have available to them. Guild College is proud to offer this experience to students.”
Stuart Allen, Group Director of Operations and Principal of Education, SCL Education, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with industry leaders, Guild Esports, to deliver our BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Esports. An organisation made up of passionate people with the shared mission of delivering a unique learning experience, our learners have a bright future ahead of them in an industry full of great career opportunities.”