Hundreds set to RISE to challenge

Rise programme creates opportunities for 30 graduates.'Pictured are interns Tom Childs,  Jenny Britton and Luke Evans with Dave Cundy (second from left) at Special Steels
Rise programme creates opportunities for 30 graduates.'Pictured are interns Tom Childs, Jenny Britton and Luke Evans with Dave Cundy (second from left) at Special Steels
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Talented graduates will have 80 more reasons to stay in Sheffield when a scheme to find them work experience in local companies is relaunched today.

Last year the RISE internship projects placed 51 youngsters in companies, from software specialist Switchstance, in the Electric Works, to Special Steels in Attercliffe. So far, 21 have finished their placements and 18 have been taken on permanently.

This year the target is to create 80 internships.

RISE is run by Sheffield-based Gradconsult for the council, which is sharing the £100,000 cost with the city’s two universities.

The aim is to encourage graduates to focus on a career in an small or medium sized company to help create a “high skills city.”

Steve Fish, careers service director at the University of Sheffield, said: “The city is full of interesting businesses going interesting places and when you take this energy and innovation and add bright, graduate talent, the potential to rise is tremendous.”

Interns are paid between £14,000 and £24,000 and placements last up to 12 months. More than 1,000 graduates from across the country applied for places last year.

Angela Stead, programme director at Switchstance, said: “It was frustrating because we have two universities on our doorstep but were finding it hard to attract graduate recruits.

“RISE has enabled us to bridge this gap and I can’t recommend it highly enough to other small businesses. Recruitment was such a drain on our limited resources and the RISE team has given us an amazing level of support with this, which has been absolutely invaluable. You think there must be a catch but there isn’t!”

Meanwhile, three RISE interns at Special Steels, Tom Childs, Jenny Britton and Luke Evans, have been taken on permanently.

Paul Helm, of Sheffield Hallam University said many big employers had graduate recruitment programmes - RISE was the equivalent for SMEs.

He added: “It’s a key part of the University’s employability offer.”