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23 August 2017

Guernsey’s first Discover Digital summer student internship programme is hailed a success by local businesses and students

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Local students with a desire to work on digital projects have gained vital experience with seven of the island’s leading companies through the Discover Digital Summer Internship scheme this summer.

Local students with a desire to work on digital projects have gained vital experience with seven of the island’s leading companies through the Discover Digital Summer Internship scheme this summer.

The scheme, set up by Startup Guernsey and the Digital Greenhouse, provided students who are passionate about digital technology with practical experience in local companies and highlighted the variety of exciting and challenging careers in the sector.

Participating companies employing 11 interns for one-week and five-week projects included Healthspan, KPMG, Sure, the States of Guernsey, First Central Group, PwC and JT. Facilitating the internships were staff from Startup Guernsey, the Digital Greenhouse and The Potting Shed.

The internships finished on Friday 18th August with a presentation from students on the digital projects completed during their five-week internship.

Katie Marquand, Thomas Upson and Mikey Chammings spent five weeks at FCG as part of “Team Red” giving them an idea of what life is really like for a software developer in a professional organisation working on a CRS project for the Youth Commission.

Olivia Strachan spent her internship at JT and worked on a website design project. Olivia said:

“This experience has been invaluable to me so far. Not only has it helped me learn vital digital skills, such as how to work with WordPress and sitemaps, but it has taught me important life skills such as good communication and working as part of a team. These skills will be even more necessary to my future career as they are not profession specific.”

Ben Allen joined PwC working on a range of projects, such as optimising SQL databases, designing Qlikview reports and creating Visual Basic tools.  

Evelyn Brady, Partner at PwC said:

“Ben has proved to be a real asset to our team, sharing his insight, challenging existing practices and focusing on solutions for our business. We are delighted to be part of this internship program and looking forward to supporting and developing more talent in the digital arena.”

James Smillie, Nathan Pinchemain, Nathaniel Jones, Lillian Woodall, Anthony Nel and Luke le Prevost were part of the “Purple Team” and worked on a variety of projects on rotation at Sure, Healthspan and KPMG.

Tony Mancini, Executive Director at KPMG said:

“KPMG were proud to be asked to support this fantastic initiative. We hope the students have enjoyed exploring how our firm approaches problem solving, innovation and the use of new technologies to develop new business models. We’ve been impressed by how well they have worked as a team, their creative energy and focus. Digital innovation is at the heart of our strategic plans and an area we are investing in to grow. It’s essential an opportunity to learn and develop skills is available to young people on the island.”

Aaron Smillie, Brand Creative Director at Healthspan said:

“Healthspan was proud to be part of the Discover Digital Summer Internship program which offered summer employment to post-16 students. During the one-week placement with us the students we’re given the opportunity to work on some of our most exciting new products. They took marketing insights and developed creative campaign treatments that worked across all our digital channels. They analysed and reviewed the latest mobile fitness technologies whilst working on our brand-new website. People across the business were struck by their enthusiasm, work ethic and great ideas.  It was a pleasure to be part of this fantastic opportunity for our extremely talented next generation.”

Lucy Witham, Educational Development Officer for Learning Technology said:

"The Discover Digital Internship aimed to not only provide paid work opportunity for young people, but also to broaden their horizons around the employment prospects on-island.  The benefit to our young people of the five week programme has been clear, with a number of students now embracing the variety of job opportunities requiring digital skills, looking at returning to the Island upon completion of their studies, as well as a number who will now be taking up employment directly from the Internship."

Andrea Dudley-Owen, Deputy at States of Guernsey said:

"Startup Guernsey and the Digital Greenhouse have been extremely pleased to partner with local companies in a variety of sectors to show students first-hand the broad range of opportunities for those with digital skills. The Discover Digital Internship programme has been a great success and is of real value to both students and businesses. Technology is increasingly central to our innovative local companies for improving their client service, productivity, their performance and therefore ultimately their profitability.  Investing in growing the number of skilled individuals filling employment opportunities on-island is essential to the future success of Guernsey.” 

Interested employers for the 2018 summer scheme should contact Startup Guernsey at info@startup.gg.

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