RISE, initially a partnership between Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield, and Sheffield City Council, launched in 2013 to support SMEs in recruiting staff and creating jobs.
Due to its success in supporting SME growth and the creation of high value jobs for graduates, RISE is now rolling out to cover all nine local authority areas in Sheffield City Region (SCR).
In fact the newly created SCR Growth Hub has become a major partner in the scheme, securing RISE until 2019 and giving thousands more forward thinking SMEs the opportunity to benefit from recruiting graduate talent.
RISE has already seen more than 200 graduates placed into paid internships over the last three years and the roll-out of RISE across the region means a further 250 interns will be placed over the next three years, boosting the local economy by £7m.
Businesses benefiting from RISE so far have ranged from digital, engineering, manufacturing and technology to third sector, recruitment and HR.
The scheme’s reputation amongst local businesses is strong, with RISE alumni including Pyronix, Tinsley Bridge, BHP Accountants, Cathedral Archer Project and Groundwork.
Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said:“RISE is about connecting the region's network of innovative and exciting businesses to talented graduates with energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas.
“The development and retention of skills are crucial to the growth of our business community. RISE will support this objective, so it really is a win-win situation for all parties and we are really pleased that it is being rolled out further across the city region.”
Cllr Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council deputy leader and cabinet member for Business and Economy said: “RISE has been fantastic for Sheffield and it is great to see this being pushed out across the wider city region.
“Sheffield sees 21,000 people graduating from two world class universities ever year, we have 14,500 SMEs in the city but as is the nature of these businesses, there often isn’t the time and resource to put into much needed recruitment.
“By matching these talented graduates to local businesses RISE has created jobs and SME growth, both essential to a thriving economy.”
Professor Sir Keith Burnett, CBE, FRS, vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield said: “The University of Sheffield is delighted to be a partner of the RISE programme for a further three years.
“RISE has provided many of our graduates with high-quality roles in fantastic local businesses over the past few years and its expansion into the Sheffield City Region promises to deliver further opportunities for both SMEs and graduates, whilst supporting economic growth in our region.”