Local businesses and students encouraged to take part in this year's Step Programme

25 February 2019

Isle of Man based organisations in the public, private and third sectors are being encouraged to host an undergraduate university student for the 2019 STEP Programme. The Programme enables local students to undertake project-based placements within local organisations over an 8 – 12 week period, between June and September. The Programme provides a perfect opportunity for local organisations to attract and build a pipeline of talent, while helping them to improve and complete specific projects.

In the last 20 years, STEP has overseen more than 400 work-based student placements across the Island, highlighting its popularity.

Lawrie Hooper MHK, Department member with responsibility for Enterprise Support, commented:

‘STEP students can make a real difference to host organisations, 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.’

There are a range of reasons why an organisation may choose to host a STEP student; they lack the skills themselves, 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 tasks or simply need help developing and managing a project.  Projects undertaken in previous years have resulted in either cost savings or business efficiency improvements for the host organisations, or in some cases helped generate additional revenue. In addition, supervising a STEP student can help staff to develop their mentoring skills and management experience.

Chrissy Callaghan, School Improvement Adviser at the Department of Education, Sport and Culture, hosted a student in 2018, commented on her experience:

‘The STEP Programme provides great benefits for both parties, the student gains useful experience in a working environment and the employer has valuable work performed on a project of their choosing with defined deliverables. Last year we hosted undergraduate Robert Leece and Robert’s work for us was fantastic. Robert’s project involved auditing our Manx Language resources and developing a database and User Handbook which is now in use across the Manx Language Network “Jeebin”. The Department is looking forward to supporting the Programme again this year.’

Students who apply are matched with an organisation aligned to their skill set and experience, before being introduced by the prospective host and beginning their placement.

Students are invited to present their projects at the STEP final at the end of August, where they compete for various prizes including Most Enterprising Student and Best Presentation.

The closing date for host applications is 30th May 2019, however organisations are encouraged to apply early to have the best opportunity of attracting students with the most appropriate skill set for their projects.

To apply to become a STEP student host or for undergraduate applications please visit: http://www.gov.im/STEP