Winners announced at 2023 Step Programme Final

12 September 2023

More than 25 Manx undergraduate students showcased their completed projects at the 2023 Step Programme Final today (Friday 1 September) at Woodbourne House.

Students presented projects based on their eight-week placements to Ministers, local businesses and other students, with projects ranging from blue carbon to engagement strategies and product testing.

This year’s ‘Most Enterprising Student’, sponsored by Business Isle of Man, was awarded to Ben McGee who completed a project on Preparation for Lexcel Accreditation with the Attorney General’s Chamber, and Ellen Rumney at Manx Utilities was awarded Runner Up Most Enterprising Student.

Ben McGee, winner of Most Enterprising Student commented: ‘I am thrilled to have won the Most Enterprising Student award today. Over the past eight weeks, I have really enjoyed my time working at Attorney General’s Chambers. I’m extremely grateful to all of the staff at Chambers for the guidance and support that they have shown me as this award would not have been possible without them.

He added: ‘I would recommend any students in their second year at university to get involved with the Step Programme. This placement was a great opportunity for me to learn new skills and gain valuable experience in the workplace.’  

The following students also received special recognition:

  • Niamh Rowe was awarded Best Report, sponsored by Finance Isle of Man
  • Oliver Hill was awarded Best Presentation, sponsored by Digital Isle of Man
  • Robert Kirby and Charlotte Gordon were awarded the Judges Commendation, sponsored by Visit Isle of Man

Minister for Enterprise, Tim Johnston MHK, who congratulated the students at the Step event and presented the awards, commented: ‘Congratulations to all students who completed the 2023 STEP Programme. The final event was a fantastic celebration of the student’s achievements and showcased the variety of young talent we have here in the Isle of Man.

‘A key part of Our Island Plan is growing the Island’s economic population, and programmes like this one provide a platform to showcase the incredible diversity of career options and possibilities that the Isle of Man offers to students whilst allowing them to gain essential work experience.’

The Step Programme matches students with local businesses and organisations to complete project placements for eight-weeks over the summer holidays, with this year seeing hosts range from Government Departments to local businesses and charities.

The guest judges were Ruth Donnelly, Head of Corporate and Engagement Services, Clerk of Tynwald’s Office, and Nicola Evans, Head of Enterprise Support, Department for Enterprise. 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 their placement.

Ruth Donnelly 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 great to see, as well as the various industries covered from so many business sectors. The matching of the individual student to a suitable host project shows the value of the STEP programme to students and it was inspiring to see such great emerging talent progressing with projects that will be value-adding to the host organisations.’

Prospective student and hosts for the Step 2024 programme are encouraged to register their interest by emailing 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.

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