SMEs to benefit from Graduate Talent

SMEs to benefit from Graduate Talent

10 March 2015

RISE, a graduate internship programme that has so far supported 104 SMEs in Sheffield and the City Region to employ talented graduates, has released ten further internships for SMEs this week. Now in its third year, RISE was developed to drive business growth locally by supporting SMEs to access and employ graduates that meet their business needs.

RISE is a collaboration between city partners; Creative Sheffield (the economic development arm of Sheffield City Council), Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield and the private sector. RISE has attracted 2200 applications and placed 130 graduates into 104 SMEs in the last three years. Over the next nine months a further 80 graduates will be placed in local SMEs through The RISE programme.

Businesses with less than 250 employees and their own premises in Sheffield City Region seeking the best graduate interns to meet their business needs are to contact

The success of the RISE service for both businesses and graduates can be attributed to the rigorous recruiting and development process undertaken by RISE on behalf of SMEs. Applications are reviewed and shortlisted with potential candidates completing a video interview and assessment centre before meeting businesses at final interview. 

Councillor Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council Cabinet Member for Business Skills and Development, said: “Businesses who may have previously been deterred from employing graduates because of a lack of resource or fear of finding the best match can cherry pick graduates using this approach, which emulates that of a large corporate development scheme without the internal investment.

By working with our University partners we are able to support Sheffield businesses to have a competitive edge; ensuring they get the influx of skills, innovation, energy and fresh ideas that graduates bring, to drive their business forward.”

Ian Hylands, Principal Engineer at Eadon Consulting Ltd said: “We've found RISE to be very valuable, helping us to find several excellent graduate engineers over the last few years. It is an essential service for SMEs like ours who need the innovation and skill set of graduates to grow and keep ahead of the game in a competitive market place.”

RISE works with businesses across all sectors and through strong partnerships with Universities can access the very best graduate talent and attract them to Sheffield. To date 130 graduates have been placed in software testing, engineering, marketing, architecture, business development, sales, metallurgy, fundraising, finance and HR roles.

RISE is designed specifically to meet the needs of SMEs locally. In addition to managing the recruitment and placement process, RISE provides a wage subsidy of £1000 for employers to use with their first newly appointed graduate.

Benefits of RISE to Sheffield Businesses

• Wage subsidy of £1000 for the first graduate recruit via RISE, jointly funded by Sheffield City Council, Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University.

• Free graduate recruitment process that emulates that of a large corporate development scheme without the internal investment for SMEs.

• Training and support for the business and the graduate for the first six months of graduate employment.

• Access to the best graduate talent pool. 

For more details of RISE including graduate and business case studies and the latest jobs adverts visit