Robyn Matthews from Corpus Christi High School, Hannah Thurston from Lancashire Careers Hub, and Peter Caney from BAE Systems launch the new games with Corpus Christi pupils

It’s Game On For Dynamic Careers Advice Across Lancashire’s Schools

Lancashire Careers Hub teams up with county’s employers to get students excited about future job opportunities through board games, hi-tech animations and interactive presentations

The Lancashire Careers Hub has teamed up with some of the county’s leading employers to create a series of board games for secondary schools in Lancashire.

BAE Systems, Keepmoat Homes, Booths, In-Situ, Blackpool Transport, United Utilities, and Lancaster City Council, have all been involved in the development of the games which provide real world insights into the wide range of job roles and career opportunities available to young people in the county.

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 focussed 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 System’s edition – which is based on Preston, Chorley and South Ribble employment data –  promotes aerospace, advanced manufacturing and technology careers.

In addition, Blackpool Transport, who were behind the first prototype of the boardgame idea, has worked with the Careers Hub to highlight job opportunities within the transportation sector across the Fylde Coast.

Designed to both engage with young people and challenge employment stereotypes, the six boardgames – which were funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, and Blackburn with Darwen Council – are now being distributed free to schools across Lancashire

They join a range of dynamic and engaging careers advice resources for Lancashire schools based on localised employment information, regional sector strengths, and anticipated local employer demand.

These include  a suite of new assets called Portal, a collection of high-quality animated films and presentations which highlight the exciting 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. Opportunities in Lancashire’s anticipated high-growth sectors such as low carbon energy, electric vehicles, and advanced engineering, are also promoted through a mix of highly visual, entertaining and thought-provoking slide-decks and videos.

At the heart of Lancashire Careers Hub’s new school materials is a mission to not only inform young people about what job opportunities will exist in the future, but also to inspire them to think differently about what they could personally achieve.

The Portal materials were also developed in consultation with over 1,200 pupils to ensure they would be engaging and relevant to young people.

For example, the animated film about the cyber industry explores not only the range of job roles set to be on offer at places like the NCF, but also the myriad of different skills and personality traits which will be needed to perform them.

Further, to encourage young people to pursue the best possible academic and technical qualification pathways, the presentations demonstrate how the demand for jobs requiring Level  4 and above skills in Lancashire is set to dramatically increase in the years ahead.  The importance of personal interests, and more individual ‘soft skills’ which are highly valued by employers, are also emphasised.

To coincide with National Careers Week (March 6th-10th), the new boardgames were recently launched at Corpus Christi High School in Preston. In attendance were representatives from BAE Systems, one of the employers who have helped develop the regionalised boardgame concept.

Peter Caney, Head of Early Careers and Skills at BAE Systems, and Chair of the Lancashire Cornerstone Employers Group, said: “These boardgames are such an innovative and engaging way of bringing awareness and knowledge of the breadth of local employment opportunities, skills and careers paths into the classroom. 

“Raising aspirations of young pupils, educating and enthusing them about the diverse range of careers and future world of work is so important, and that’s why as part of a collaboration with other Lancashire-based employers we are proud to be sponsoring this initiative”.

 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 boardgames, and the hi-tech visual classroom resources, also means we can engage with all type of learners in different ways. There is also a version of the boardgame specifically for SEND students being developed.”           

Robyn Matthews, Careers Lead at Corpus Christi High School said: “It’s fantastic for our students to have a genuinely interactive medium like a boardgame which highlights the different career opportunities that exist, and help to consider the qualifications they need to get there. From playing this game today they’ve also learnt a lot about the current employment market in and around Preston, and what a job in the aerospace sector could look like for them.”

Any Lancashire school wanting to find out more about the games and the other new careers materials can email LancsSkillsHub@lancashirelep.co.uk . They can also access the Portal resources via the Careers Hub website: www.lancashirecareershub.co.uk/careers-resources

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