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Rare and Catch22 Pre- Employability Support

by Taylor Wileman / 25th August 2023 / News

Digital Edge in partnership with Microsoft. Get into Gaming. XBOX Game Studios - Rare

Building a career within the games industry is an aspiration that thousands of individuals across the UK share. But the gaming sector can be seen as a tough nut to crack when it comes to accessing that all-important role.

At Rare, we want to change this, and we are incredibly proud to share that our People and Culture team have been working with a charitable organisation called Catch22.

Who are Catch22?

They are a not-for-profit business with a social mission, and for over 200 years they have designed and delivered services that build resilience and aspiration in people and communities across the UK. They have an ongoing project called Digital Edge, which is delivered in partnership with Microsoft.

What is Digital Edge?

Digital Edge is a pre-apprenticeship and employment training programme designed to help individuals from underserved communities access a digital apprenticeship with a local employer, within Microsoft’s network of customers and partners.

This year, Rare has been supporting Catch22 with this training programme by offering our vast and varying insights across the studio to a new cohort of 50 individuals, who have the ambition to earn their first role in the games industry through a programme called ‘Get Into Gaming’.

How did this work? And what is a brand partnership?

One thing was clear while building and co-ordinating this project. We wanted to ensure that each participant would finish the training programme with at least one key thing in mind: the inspiration and belief in themselves to say “I could do this job”. We wanted to highlight all the individual contributors and multi-disciplinary teams that work together to make our studio what it is, and to think about gaming as a business, with a wide variety of different roles on offer.

People from across the studio came together to offer up their time and share their personal experiences and unique career journeys. Because of the effort our ‘Rareites’ put into this, we managed to build an in-depth and well-rounded training programme that accommodated the amazing work done by Catch22.

We kicked off our side of this programme on July 12th, 2023 by running an online Insights session offering participants the opportunity to hear from employees across the studio to share:

  • The backgrounds and roads they followed to get to where they are now (education route/work experience).
  • Insights into their current roles.
  • Their day-to-day responsibilities.

Participants were able to hear from our studio’s Lead VFX Artist, HR Business Partner, Training and Development Lead, multiple Software Engineers and one of our resident QA Embedded Testers.

Following on from this, on July 18th, the studio hosted an on-site day for the 50 ‘Get Into Gaming’ participants where we gave them the opportunity to:

  • Visit our recording studio and hear how the Audio team bring games to life.
  • Experience what it’s like to playtest a game (Sea of Thieves) with our Test team.
  • Chat with some of the Art team and see our amazing artwork and creative content.
  • Chat with a couple of our engineers about how engineering works in games.
  • Attend a Q&A session with our Studio Head about Rare and the games industry.
  • Tour our amazing campus and get a selfie or ten.

How did it go?

The response from everyone involved was overwhelmingly positive. The inspirational stories shared by the participants and our own Rare staff were so inspiring.

On that day, we created memories and aspirations for the participants that will help them on their ‘Get Into Gaming’ journey. Not only was it a great opportunity to showcase our unique studio but to give an insight into the wider gaming sector, and the contributions that were made across the team were phenomenal.

It is safe to say that so many of the participants left the day saying to themselves “This is what I want to do”, and we wish them all the best with their own personal career journeys.

Further games industry information

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Catch22 and the great work they do, please visit You can also find out more information on this specific project here: Microsoft, Rare and Catch22 team up to run pre-employability support for budding gamers.