More than 500 graduates are in the race to secure one of 30 paid internships with leading Sheffield region companies and charities.
The ground breaking RISE initiative involves the city’s two universities, the local authority and a range of business and other organisations.
It aims to encourage small firms to boost their growth by taking on talented graduates.
Companies get a range of support, including matching them with a graduate with the right skills, the help of a business mentor who has taken graduates on before and £1,500 towards the intern’s wages.
Graduates, meanwhile, will get help to ensure they are ready for the world of work.
Garry Meakin, private sector ambassador for the RISE programme said: “The quality of these well paid internships shows once and for all that Sheffield can deliver great careers for talented graduates.
“They also demonstrate the strength and vibrancy of the City’s SMEs and a confidence about growth. It is notable that these thirty internships have been unearthed in just six weeks which augurs well.”