200-up for scheme to halt brain drain

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A scheme to place graduate interns with small firms in Sheffield to stop the brain drain to London is about make its 200th match.

The RISE ‘talent retention’ project is estimated to add £5.6m-a-year to the local economy by boosting small and medium-size enterprises.

It is a collaboration between Creative Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield and the private sector and is one of several schemes that are ‘putting Sheffield on the map,’ it is claimed.

This autumn, Creative Sheffield - the city council’s business arm - launched The Outdoor City campaign on the back of the thousands of active people who live in it. The aim is to boost participation locally, attract people who love big city living and the outdoors and retain talent.

A European Outdoor Summit was held in autumn which attracted more 300 outdoors companies and businesspeople, It spawned the Outdoor City draft economic strategy which will be finalised in March, following its public consultation.

Edward Highfield, director of Creative Sheffield, said: “The most notable contributor to economic growth in 2015 is the upturn in confidence that the business community has in the city. This has been as much about changing the way we talk about the city as it has about changing the way we do things.

“Sheffield is of course known all over the world for its steel and manufacturing sectors.

“In some circles we are known for our arts and cultural scene, for others it’s the Snooker World Championships and for others Sheffield will always be the climbing capital of the UK.

“One of the things Sheffield has been criticised for in the past is not doing enough to challenge outdated perceptions about the city – perceptions of declining industry or a small town mentality. I don’t think we can be accused of this in 2015.

“This year, Sheffield’s narrative has been amplified because it has the backing of the people who live, work and play in Sheffield. This comes from the strength of our relationships with the business community, the support of two world-class universities, and crucially, because of the game-changing projects that we are collectively driving.

“The legacy of 2015 is one of business growth, attracting investment, retaining talent and challenging perceptions. Not a bad spring board for 2016!”