From today small and medium sized businesses in Sheffield City Region will be able once again to sign up to the region’s most unique and innovative support scheme, after successfully winning European funding earlier this year. 

RISE has helped growing businesses across the region to recruit talented graduates for 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 and 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.

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 the 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.”

Any company that is interested in finding out more should get in touch: businesses@risescr.co.uk and follow on Twitter to keep up with the latest news @RISESCR.

Professor 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.”

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, Sheffield City Council) said: “Having already supported more than 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.”