Prize winners announced at 2019 Step Programme final

24 August 2019

On Friday 23rd August, 32 undergraduate Manx students showcased their completed projects in the Department for Enterprise’s 2019 Step Programme Final, held at the iMuseum in Douglas. The Programme, which is sponsored by IQ–EQ Isle of Man Ltd, matches students with local organisations to complete project placements over the summer holidays.

This year’s ‘Most Enterprising Student’ was awarded to James McGhee who completed a project on the medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp industry with Business Isle of Man, and Sasha Thomas at Isle of Man Constabulary was runner up. Samantha Titterton was awarded ‘Best Presentation’ and Maebh Worthing came second in this category. The judges also awarded Molly Hepburn and Sophie Elliott commendations for their performance.

Lawrie Hooper MHK and Minister for Enterprise, Laurence Skelly MHK, welcomed the students at the event and presented them with their awards. Minister Skelly commented:

‘Congratulations to all students who completed the 2019 Step Programme. The final event was a fantastic celebration of the student’s achievements and showcased the young talent we have here in the Isle of Man. The high calibre of work the students produced has already offered local organisations tremendous benefit and will help shape their future practices.

‘The programme also offers Manx undergraduates valuable project-based work experience, and opens the door to job opportunities available to students here in the Isle of Man, encouraging those who studied off-island to return after graduating. With the newly introduced National Insurance Holiday Scheme, the Isle of Man is an even more attractive place for graduates to begin their careers.’

The guest judges were Gail Yeowell, Managing Director of Smart HR Solutions Limited, and Bill Mummery, Celton Manx Limited and Director of the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce. As well as presenting their work to the audience at the final, students were assessed on their report-writing skills and feedback from their host organisation on how they performed during the 8-12 week placement.

Bill Mummery, one of the 2019 judges, commented:

‘The breadth and depth of this year’s submissions from participating students has been particularly excellent. I’d like to congratulate the prize winners and all students that took part.’

Gail Yeowell, the second judge, also commented:

‘It was a pleasure to be a judge in this year’s Step Programme. The breadth of projects that the students were involved with was really good to see, as well as the various industries covered. It was inspiring to see such great emerging talent progressing with projects that will be very value-adding to the host organisations.

‘It was difficult to judge due to the high standard of project reports and presentations. Congratulations to the winners of the six individual prizes today, to the all the students for their hard work, and to the host organisations for providing valuable work-based development opportunities.  Thanks also to the Department for Enterprise for continuing to offer this excellent programme, and the sponsors for their support.’

Student applications for the 2020 Step Programme will open in December 2019. Students must be in their second year of a three year degree course, or the second or third year of a four year degree course to take part.

Host organisations wishing to learn more about the Step Programme, or wanting to register early interest for the 2020 Programme, are encouraged to email

For more information on the Department’s Step Programme, please visit