While many teachers and parents would probably steer clear of encouraging children to play video games in school, a new service is using Minecraft to help pupils in Wales build their future careers.

Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time and allows players to explore a limitless virtual world and build structures out of the resources they craft.

Now, Careers Wales has used the game to build a 'CareersCraft' world in which schoolchildren can develop their skills.

Aimed at pupils aged 8-13, the world features six zones based upon different Welsh landmarks including the Senedd, Caernarfon Castle and the Coal Exchange.

Each zone is linked to areas of learning within the new Welsh curriculum and the resource is also available to all children in schools across the country through Minecraft Education Edition, accompanied by lesson plans for teachers.

Players are able to explore the areas within the resource, completing a series of challenges and activities as they go. They can learn about different careers in specific sectors and industries in Wales, develop their skills, and discover more about their own strengths and interests.

See what Wales looks like in the careers service's Minecraft world here:

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Gareth Phillips, head of digital and communications at Careers Wales, said the organisation saw Minecraft as the perfect medium for a careers service "that would engage the digital generation".

He added: “Providing careers education through the Minecraft platform enables young people in Wales to broaden their horizons and raise their aspirations in a fun, engaging and creative way.

“We know how popular Minecraft is with the younger generation and there is a growing network of schools in Wales that are leading the way in developing some really innovative learning resources in this area - from introductions to coding, to learning about history, maths, languages as well as developing important skills such as problem solving, creative thinking and collaborating."

The service recently held a CareersCraft roadshow for pupils, taking in landmarks like the Big Pit National Coal Museum, in Blaenavon, and the harbour in Tenby.

Pupils from Risca Comprehensive School were among those to explore the Minecraft world at Big Pit. One of them, Maggie Wools, said: “It was a fun experience and great to discover and explore different careers through Minecraft. I think as pupils we would really benefit from using this in the classroom and sharing it with others in the school.”

Risca teacher Coran Jones said CareersCraft had "ignited conversations about careers, aspirations and pathways".

She added: “It's a brilliant build full of interactive activities for the pupils that will definitely help them in the future. I'm looking forward to using the resource and bringing it into the classroom to share with my form class."

The CareersCraft resource is now available for anyone with a games console, tablet or laptop to download, and has had over one million downloads through Minecraft Marketplace so far.

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