Roll-out of business support scheme to add £7M into local economy

Roll-out of business support scheme to add £7M into local economy

31 May 2016

Photo of Sheffield Sustainable Kitchen’s Director Rob Cole and RISE graduate Olly leyland

The innovative and award winning talent retention and business support scheme ‘RISE’ is being rolled out across Sheffield City Region and is set to boost the local economy by £7m over the next three years. 

RISE, initially a partnership between Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield, and Sheffield City Council launched in 2013 to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the recruitment of skilled staff, create jobs and retain talented graduates in the region.

Due to its success in supporting SME growth and the creation of high value jobs for graduates, RISE is now rolling out to cover all nine local authority areas in Sheffield City Region (SCR). In fact the newly created SCR Growth Hub has become a major partner in the scheme, securing RISE until 2019 and giving thousands more forward thinking SMEs the opportunity to benefit from recruiting graduate talent.

RISE has already seen more than 200 graduates placed into paid internships over the last three years, across more than 150 companies.  The roll-out of RISE across the region means a further 250 interns will be placed over the next three years, with at least 150 of these placements becoming permanent posts.  This will equate to an economic impact for the region of up to £7m.

Businesses benefiting from RISE so far have ranged from digital, engineering, manufacturing and technology to third sector, recruitment and HR. The scheme’s reputation amongst local businesses is strong, with RISE alumni including Pyronix, Tinsley Bridge, BHP Accountants, Cathedral Archer Project and Groundwork

RISE runs three times a year, with intakes in spring, summer and autumn. More information for businesses and students can be found at  RISE are recruiting businesses now to coincide with summer graduation – so it’s a great time to get in touch with the RISE team to find out if RISE is right for you.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “RISE is about connecting the region's network of innovative and exciting businesses to talented graduates with energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas. The development and retention of skills are crucial to the growth of our business community. RISE will support this objective, so it really is a win-win situation for all parties and we are really pleased that it is being rolled out further across the city region.”

Cllr Leigh Bramall Sheffield City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business and Economy said: “RISE has been fantastic for Sheffield and it is great to see this being pushed out across the wider city region.  Sheffield sees 21,000 people graduating from two world class universities ever year. We have 14,500 SMEs in the city but as is the nature of these businesses, there often isn’t the time and resource to put into much needed recruitment. By matching these talented graduates to local businesses RISE has created jobs and SME growth, both essential to a thriving economy.”

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, CBE, FRS, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield said: “The University of Sheffield is delighted to be a partner of the RISE programme for a further three years. RISE has provided many of our graduates with high-quality roles in fantastic local businesses over the past few years and its expansion into the Sheffield City Region promises to deliver further opportunities for both SMEs and graduates, whilst supporting economic growth in our region.”

Professor Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University said: "It's fantastic that the successful RISE partnership is being expanded across the whole of the Sheffield City Region. RISE has been a hugely effective and successful scheme for helping graduates takes up great opportunities with SMEs in Sheffield. This expansion across the region now means that even more graduates will be able to make a valuable contribution to employers and learn crucial business skills to give them the edge in their future careers."

Rob Cole, Director of Sheffield Sustainable Kitchens, one of the companies who have benefitted from RISE said: “When I approached RISE, our business was expanding and I needed an extra pair of hands to do CAD work and alleviate pressure on other members of staff. We were getting more and more requests for quotes, so it was really important to expand the design team. I wanted someone with fresh ideas and proper training in the right software, which our graduates have provided.”

For more information about RISE go to

Creative Sheffield, Sheffield City Council’s economic development arm, work directly with the private sector and political leaders in the city to grow the economy and create jobs.  Businesses looking to grow can get free and confidential support from dedicated Growth Advisors with a wealth of experience and connections in their sector. Contact Business Sheffield on 0800 043 5522