European Regional Development Fund


Durham Duplex marry RISE with Apprenticeship Scheme for outstanding results


Sheffield based Durham Duplex is a leading manufacturer and distributor of machine knives and industrial blades. With a history steeped in Sheffield’s world class engineering capabilities, their cutting edge products are used by industry across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.  Durham Duplex operates out of two factories and one warehouse in Sheffield and employs a team of 85.

Managing Director Charles Turner has worked closely with the RISE programme to recruit, develop and retain talent in Sheffield City Region. Durham Duplex recently appointed two new graduates to the Engineering Department and European Sales Team through RISE.

MD Charles Turner said: “The Individuals that work with us are all part of Sheffield’s story of making and superior quality engineering. Our people represent the business and the brand of the city on a global stage, and this isn’t something that we take lightly. We are constantly striving to be better in all areas of our business and part of that is about finding fresh new talent, developing them, training them, and carving out opportunities for them to grow. A combination of graduate attraction and retention with the expert support of RISE, and our own internal apprenticeship scheme is how we do this well.”

RISE launched in 2013 in direct response to the needs of businesses like Durham Duplex. With an early remit to grow the local economy through graduate attraction, matching, retention and job creation, the scheme has evolved over the last seven years to add value through wrap-around business growth support.

Charles Turner explains: “There are common barriers to growth for small to medium size businesses which transcend industries and sectors; namely the time, cost and expertise needed to recruit well. But there are some very specific challenges experienced by engineering and manufacturing firms because of the specialist skills required and the level of investment needed. To overcome these we have to be both tenacious and progressive in our approach to talent attraction and retention.

“RISE gives us access to a pool of talent that would otherwise be invisible to us – as we would be to the graduates we need. Our brand would be lost amongst the big corporate players that graduates might ordinarily be drawn to through the more traditional recruitment settings such as jobs boards or university fairs. RISE cuts through this. It gives manufacturing firms like ours unprecedented access to the very best people at a critical time in their career planning. RISE works closely with the team to match candidates with business needs based on aptitude and personality as well as skills. This significantly reduces the risk of the hire and puts us in a strong position for success.”

Durham Duplex employs a carefully crafted model of technical apprenticeships and graduate recruitment schemes to build their business. They connect the skills, practical ability, theoretical knowledge and vision that these two groups channel, and offer continuous professional development. Through this approach, Durham Duplex is supporting an eclectic mix of young people up through the ranks of the business. Their investment in homegrown talent means that the average age of their workforce is 38 and their teams encompass an enviable balance of experience, age, drive and energy; considered as critical factors in their success on the world stage.

Collaborating with the RISE programme has been a fantastic experience for Marjolo. Not only have we had access to expert recruitment services, but it has also put us at the heart of the Sheffield business community and raised our profile with some seriously talented graduates. This greatly aligns to our business model and we couldn’t thank the RISE Team more for helping us to become an employer of choice

Matt Wilding, Chief Operating Officer