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Award-winning board game tests students

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  • News date: May '22
  • News author: Liam Waite

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LAKES College students have been entrusted with multi-million-pound budgets and control of key assets at Sellafield – all part of an award-winning board game to teach them about asset management.

Sellafield Ltd visited the National College for Nuclear at Lakes College to play the company’s Synergy asset management board game with civil engineering apprentices.

Students had to work to a strict budget and manage the use of vital resources like electricity and water to improve the condition of key assets and achieve the greatest level of production to meet business objectives.

While the game started off simple as students worked independently in four small groups, later turns brought pitfalls such as risks with varying levels of urgency which had to be dealt with to avoid hampering production or eating a large chunk of the budget.


That required a collaborative approach as a single budget had to be shared between each part of the business – and difficult decisions had to be made under pressure.

Mohamed Alwaheshi, civil engineering course leader, said: “There are many reasons to do this, but the first is to improve communication between the college and a major employer.

“It also allows my students to gain more understanding of asset management in industry.

“This is our approach; to have strong links between the academic or theoretical side and putting the principles into practice.

“It went even better than I thought because I didn’t know too much about the game before.

“They have learnt so much from it like how to deal with difficulties in industry, problem solving, teamwork, the importance of different roles, communication skills and leadership.

“I’m really pleased with what Sellafield have done for us and I would like to thank them for it.”

Lucy Hughes, head of enterprise strategy and planning capability, and Richard Longman, engineering and maintenance improvements manager, oversaw the event and helped the students to understand the principles of the game and how it related to real-life asset management.

Jordan Baird said: “It gives you a different perspective of how asset management works, how everything fits into it and how certain departments can take priority over others.”

Andrew Ackrell added: “I really enjoyed it; it shows how asset management works with a Sellafield focus and I liked how it got us all discussing how to spend the budget efficiently. It broke down quite slowly so it was a constantly evolving situation similar to a real workplace.”