Sheffield graduates ‘Rise’ to the 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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Opportunity has come knocking for some of Sheffield’s brightest graduates – with paid internships at a range of firms which could lead to permanent work.

Sheffield and Hallam Universities, small and medium-sized businesses and Sheffield Council have teamed up to create the positions under the Rise programme.

So far, 30 graduates have been taken on – and their jobs will boost the local economy by £500,000 a year.

And the scheme is to be extended to offer a further 20 positions.

Businesses taking part include 3squared, McKenna Precision Castings, Lightworks, Cathedral Archer Project, Eadon Consulting, Special Steel Group, Forde Recruitment, Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity, BHP, Safe Technology Ltd, X-cel Superturn, Total HR and Pyronix.

Attercliffe-based Special Steel has taken on three graduates – Jenny Britton, Tom Childs and Luke Evans.

Jenny, working in the company’s technical department, said: “Rise has given a different option which may not have occurred to graduates. Many of the businesses involved I hadn’t heard of before so to open up this employment avenue increased my chances of gaining a graduate job.”

Dave Cundy, managing director at Special Steel, said: “The quality of candidates that we saw through Rise was very high.

“It’s not just their academic qualifications we have been impressed with either – they are all well rounded individuals who successfully made the big step from an academic to an industry environment in a short space of time.

“Historically, it’s been very difficult for us to find a strong calibre of students trained in material sciences and metallurgy so being able to do this through Rise has been fantastic for us.”

Sheffield Council is contributing £150,000 towards wages of graduates involved in Rise through its Keep Sheffield Working fund – but the aim of the project is for them to be taken on as permanent employees after their internship ends.

Coun Leigh Bramall, the council’s cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “Congratulations to all the graduates who are now in their internships, this news is great for the city, businesses and our economy.

“Our investment shows that the council are serious about doing what we can to help boost the economy, support businesses to grow and retain talent.”

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