The STEP Programme, sponsored by First Names Group, enables Manx undergraduate students to undertake work-based project placements with local organisations. Now in its 20th year the scheme has overseen 400 work-based student placements across the Island, highlighting the Programme’s popularity.
What are the benefits to hosting a STEP student?
There are a range of reasons why an organisation may choose to host a STEP student; they may be facing an issue they want to turn into a definable and structured project, they could be struggling to allocate staff to particular activities and tasks or simply need help developing and managing a project.
STEP students can make a real difference; feedback obtained from previous hosts has really highlighted the significant contribution students have brought to their organisation, many commenting on the high standard of work performed across a variety of different projects and the commitment of the students – all at an affordable cost. The average cost to an organisation over an eight-week project is £1,920.
Projects undertaken in previous years have resulted in either savings for the host organisations, or in some cases helped generate additional revenues.
In addition, supervising a STEP student can help staff to develop their mentoring skills and management experience.
Students are matched with an organisation aligned to their skills and interests and there are virtually no restrictions on the type of project an organisation can choose; past projects have included planning an aircraft maintenance schedule and introducing online gaming software.
This year’s scheme saw 33 undergraduate students completing projects covering a variety of industries and specialisms within the public, private, and third sector.
Lawrie Hooper MHK, Member with responsibility for Enterprise Support at the Department for Enterprise, commented:
‘The STEP Programme provides invaluable experience to undergraduates seeking work-based project experience. The quality and hard work of the student projects is clear to see and I’m delighted that host organisations are continuing to support and see the value of taking on these students’.
The quality of this year’s STEP student projects was recognised at the Programme Final in August. This year’s award winners and their hosts were:
- Most Enterprising Student (Main prize): Breesha Foxton – Onchan street lighting review – Onchan District Commissioners
- Most Enterprising Student Runner Up: Tia Welsh – Visit Isle of Man web content review / update – Department for Enterprise (Visit IoM )
- Best Presentation: Robert Leece – Auditing Manx Language resources and reviewing strategy – Department of Education Sport & Culture ( Education)
- Best Presentation Runner Up: Sebastian Swithinbank - Assessment of Agricultural Holdings & Residences - DEFA (Planning)
- 2nd Judges Commendation: Abigail Cooper – Home Energy App aimed at young adults – DEFA (Energy Efficiency)
- Judges’ Commendation: Georgia Seaward - Review of “Capability Process Policy” - Isle of Man Post Office (HR)
Tim Craig, STEP host for Breesha Foxton at Onchan Commissioners, added:
‘Breesha’s work for us this summer has been fantastic. Breesha’s project involved reviewing and assessing the street lighting in Onchan. The project will play a key part in the infrastructure plans for Onchan Commissioners going forward’
How to apply
Host applications are now open for the 2019 STEP Programme, to apply or to find out more information please visit: www.iomdfenterprise.im/step or contact Stephen Hawke on 01624 682383.