New board games help school children learn about career options

By Tim Aldred

09 Mar 2023

Board Game Desktop

A group of prominent Lancashire employers have collaborated on a range of six new board games designed to help inform and inspire secondary school children about their career options.

The project is being led by Lancashire Careers Hub with input from BAE Systems, Keepmoat Homes, Booths, In-Situ, Blackpool Transport, United Utilities and Lancaster City Council.

By using detailed Labour Market Information (LMI) which tracks and predicts employment trends in different parts of Lancashire, the games have also been developed for specific local areas. For example In-Situ has helped create a game focusing on a variety of jobs in Burnley and Pendle, while Lancaster City Council’s version helps to promote careers available in the Lancaster and Morecambe area.

Other employers involved in the project have used the boardgame format to help develop more sector-specific editions.

United Utilities and Keepmoat have joined forces to produce a construction-themed game linked to opportunities in East Lancashire and the Ribble Valley, whereas Booths have co-produced a food, farming and retail version specifically for West Lancashire.

BAE Systems' edition, which is based on Preston, Chorley and South Ribble employment data, promotes aerospace, advanced manufacturing and technology careers.

In addition, Blackpool Transport, which was behind the first prototype of the board game idea, has worked with the Careers Hub to highlight job opportunities within the transportation sector across the Fylde Coast.

The project has been funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, and Blackburn with Darwen Council. The games are now being distributed free to schools across Lancashire.

The games will also be used alongside a suite of new assets called Portal, a collection of high-quality animated films and presentations which highlight the careers set to be created by the arrival of the Eden Project Morecambe, the National Cyber Force (NCF) at Samlesbury, and other major investments which have been earmarked for the county.

Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, director of the Lancashire and Employment Skills Hub, said: “We know that in order to get young people to think about their choice of subjects and the different kinds of jobs they could aspire to, we need to get them excited about the variety of career opportunities which exist not only now but also in the future.

“These fantastic employer-backed games is one way to help do that, as is our new range of animated films and presentations which are focused on the many different and rewarding careers which are on Lancashire’s immediate horizon such as jobs in low carbon, cyber and hospitality.

“Having a blend of very tactile assets such as board games, and the hi-tech visual classroom resources, also means we can engage with all types of learners in different ways. There is also a version of the board game specifically for SEND students being developed.”

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