Revamped business support scheme launches after funding success

  • RISE scheme – which helps University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam graduates connect with growing businesses in the Sheffield City Region – relaunches after winning European funding
  • Revamped scheme will help over 200 businesses recruit 330 more graduates over the next three years

The innovative and award-winning RISE scheme – a partnership involving the University of Sheffield – has relaunched today (11 October 2019) after securing European funding to help more businesses across the Sheffield City Region recruit talented graduates.

RISE has already helped more than 500 growing businesses across the region recruit 700 graduates over the past five years in an effort to help them develop and innovate.

Over the next three years, the project will work with more than 200 businesses to employ 330 more graduates. Businesses that take part will have access to an improved wrap around support offer, all at no charge to them.

Funding for an enhanced RISE project has been secured from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and matched by Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and 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.”

RISE works with businesses to understand their needs, provide information, advice and guidance on graduate recruitment and help them define the job they want to offer. RISE then advertises and sifts applications so a business can choose its preferred candidate and offers ongoing support for the first six months a graduate is in post.

Salary subsidy grants are available to all businesses at a standard £1,000 rate or, on a first come first served basis, at £2,500 for high tech roles or businesses.

Mark Walsh, Managing Director at PointSolutions, said: “Having a higher level grant for high tech businesses and roles will really help us attract candidates with the skills that are in such short supply in the market. Small and medium businesses, who are driving technical upskill in businesses, often struggle to compete with corporates despite offering a much more diverse environment for graduates to progress their careers. It is fantastic to see RISE help smaller businesses overcome this barrier to recruiting great talent.”

This fresh roll out of RISE will see businesses skilled up so they can continue to recruit graduates into the future. Businesses will benefit from a briefing session where they will have access to a range of advice and guidance as well as to specialist staff who will make business leaders aware of the region’s wider support offer, so they can take advantage of all of the help that is out there.

Businesses that have worked with RISE before really value the scheme and what it can do for the growth of their businesses, as Jonathan Buck, Managing Director, Riverside Automation attests: “RISE worked really well for us. The RISE team took on all the initial applications and whittled them down through the assessment stages. Basically, they did a lot of ground work for us - which was great as we wouldn’t have had the resources to interview the number of initial applicants ourselves.”

Professor 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. I look forward to seeing many more success stories over the next three years.”

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “Having already supported over 500 businesses to advertise nearly 700 graduate jobs RISE has provided an exceptional service to local businesses. 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.”

Any company that is interested in finding out more should get in touch:

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Additional information

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Hannah Postles
Public Affairs Manager
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046