Foyle International, an educational organisation in Northern Ireland which focusses on organising and managing Erasmus+ work experience internships in the UK, is delighted to announce that it has been granted a government-backed Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Award with the Business Development Centre based in the North West Regional College. The total project value is £121 236 with Innovate UK funding of £82 236 and this will be used for the development of its new and innovative internship and work experience management system entitled “Tracking Internship and Management of Experience” (TIME).

Foyle International (UK)

Many of the academic departments of universities, colleges, training organisations and schools are required to send their students on work experience programmes into the industry for periods of time ranging from 2 weeks up to 1 year and the efficient and effective management of this process can be a challenging and time-consuming task for some organisations. The TIME product will be an innovative cloud-based web application, incorporating RESTful APIs, which will be capable of not only managing, assigning, assessing, monitoring and generating documents for work placements but will also provide innovative new features incorporating geofencing, location tracking, sentiment analysis and data analysis. There are no current automated monitoring mechanisms for managing internships and in the case of international internships with visa restrictions, the TIME system will be an integral component in minimising risks regarding UKVI (Visa and Immigration)regulations and the Highly Trusted Status of the academic organisations involved in this type of activity.

The mobile companion’s application to be developed and the corresponding data analytics will allow for automated “clocking in” of the students and will facilitate compliance with both the Home Office and Erasmus + monitoring requirements for international students. The data retrieved through this mobile application will also help identify retention and early leaver risks through sentiment analysis of daily logs.

The additional benefits of the TIME system will be that it can drastically decrease the administrative workload, storing data securely in the cloud, to allow adaptability and accessibility to customers by allowing access from a wide extent of devices inside and remotely to the business and also decreasing operating costs to an organisation, by saving time and staffing costs. The TIME system will provide an interlinked database that can store staff member’s knowledge, regarding host companies that the business deals with regularly, in a structured and manageable format. The TIME system structure could possibly be more profitable to a business by taking out bottlenecks. The TIME system can overcome this scenario with its automatic document generation, thus conceivably expanding the maximum capacity of students a business can have.

Innovate UK is committed to driving growth by working with companies such as Foyle International to de-risk, enable and support innovation which will drive economic growth and it is a significant indication of the need for and importance of the product that Innovate UK has registered its confidence in it through this KTP funding mechanism.

This system will manage the process of recruitment, experience management, tracking and assessment of students when completing placements in an intuitive and student-focused manner and will be an invaluable resource for any academic organisation involved in managing internships for their students, particularly for the complex placement arrangements involved in organising medical, nursing and technology internships.