Legoland offers lessons in building business

Julie Henry

The "building block" course, once derided as child's play, has found its ultimate expression. You can now study a GNVQ about Legoland.

Leisure and tourism students are using a teaching pack devised by the theme park at Windsor - an offshoot of the original Danish Legoland.

Critics who claim the modular GNVQ lacks the rigour of the A-level, should know it isn't just a question of remembering how many pieces of Lego fill up the entire park (answer: 28 million in the Miniland area alone, taking 100 model makers three years to complete).

The pack, published by the Government-funded Learning and Skills Development Agency, takes in market research, sales promotion, corporate hospitality and even staff disciplinary procedures.

It can also be used by business GNVQ students - the Lego story is a useful lesson in brand-is-everything capitalism.

Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen did well enough with the wooden toys he invented during the 1930s depression. But it was his hi-tech son Godtfred who turned the business into a multi-million dollar company by devising the tiny plastic brick.

The pack requires students to deal with a slightly peeved Mr A Jones who thought the park "wonderful" but complains about the 45-minute queue for rides. Then there's the very annoyed Ms A Jones (presumably no relation) whose five-year-old son's birthday treat was "completely shattered" because so many rides were not working.

And tucked in the back is a group booking form for visiting the park. Price: only pound;6 per student. Now that's a lesson in business.

The course has been devised with Springboard UK, the tourism industry's career service. For copies, contact the Learning and Skills Development Agency at

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Julie Henry

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