This is why small Sheffield firms are set to welcome 330 graduates

More than 300 Sheffield graduates will stay in the city under a £1.2m support scheme that funnels them into small firms.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 2:53 pm
Rise programme creates opportunities for graduates: interns Tom Childs, Jenny Britton and Luke Evans with Dave Cundy (second from left) at Special Steels in 2014.

The RISE programme aims to match 330 ex-students with jobs in 200 small and medium-sized firms over the next three years.It acts as a free recruitment department by advertising jobs and sifting applications. It also offers £1,000 salary top-ups to help small companies match corporate salaries. That figure rises to £2,500 for hi-tech roles.RISE has had £684,132 from the European Regional Development Fund - some 58 per cent of the £1,179,658 total. The rest is from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.

Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “I’m proud that this barrier busting project will continue to play an important role in helping small and medium sized businesses to grow and make the most of all the support that exists.”

In the five years the scheme has been running, some 300 companies have recruited 400 graduates, the city council says, with 75 per cent going on to get permanent jobs. They have boosted the economy by £7.7m with a return on investment of £14 for each £1 spent, officials claim.

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Prof Koen Lamberts, vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “RISE is a fantastic asset for the region’s businesses and I hope that as many as possible will take advantage of the support that it offers. I am proud that our students are able to flourish and have real impact in local businesses and stay in the place they come to love as students. Retaining this talent is vital for the region’s economic health and competitiveness.”

Prof Chris Husbands, vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University said: “Sheffield Hallam has been a proud supporter of RISE since the project’s inception. We are delighted that the scheme is entering this exciting new phase of delivery.

“RISE is a great way for us to create opportunities for our graduates and demonstrate the contributions they can make, whilst helping to drive future economies.”