European Regional Development Fund


For Graduates

What is RISE?

RISE was an innovative project that connected talented, hard-working graduates with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the Sheffield City Region. We aimed to provide graduates with fantastic opportunities, great career progression and the chance to make an impact, whilst giving our thriving small business sector access to amazing graduate talent, skills and innovation.

Why would I enjoy working for an SME?

A job at an SME is very different to larger, more corporate organisations. In a smaller setting you will be a key player; you’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot in a fast-paced environment. If you’re the type of person who wants to have visibility and responsibility early on, and wants to work in a small/close knit team towards a shared goal, then you will find working for an SME exciting, challenging and rewarding, and we would encourage you to apply.

One of our RISE graduates, Ben Pickering from Sheffield based IT consultancy Marjolo, shares his hugely positive experience of working for an SME here:

Why Sheffield City Region?

We know that when you ask people where graduates want to work, they say: ‘all graduates go to London’. However, this isn’t the case. Did you know that: 58% of graduates went on to work in the region they studied in, and 69% went on to work in the region they grew up in? We therefore know that a large proportion of the graduates from the numerous universities in the Sheffield City Region really want to work here.

Whilst RISE is no longer actively recruiting SMEs or Graduates we are still passionate about the benefits of working within local SMEs and there are a range of support options available to anyone looking to engage with local businesses for work and experience.

Support on offer?

Support at Sheffield Hallam for students and graduates

To view all current live graduate roles, please visit our advertising platform Handshake.  Alternatively, if you would like to make a careers appointment with one of our Employability Advisers, then please email

Support for University of Sheffield graduates

Our support offer for graduates can be viewed here for further information please contact

If you are not from one of the two Sheffield Universities, please contact your own University Careers and Employability Service for further support and details of opportunities for gaining work and experience.

Young people will pay you back if you invest in them. RISE helps us to make this investment in the right people - the best people. It is a proper job with proper pay. Young people will 'rise' to the challenge given the opportunity.

Charles Turner, Managing Director

Durham Duplex

One of our values is to recruit creatively. One of our developers has a degree in Philosophy. He got into developing because he liked the way he could bring images to life through development software. People who are passionate about tech can be better than people who have studied it because they have a personal drive that keeps them interested in the latest tools and techniques. This is one of the benefits of RISE - you get access to a wealth of graduates from lots of different disciplines.

Nicola Tiffany, Managing Director


In a small business you get to make an impact. You have more responsibility. You get to work with a team that doesn't have all the answers but that wants to work them out with you. I think lots of graduates want that and RISE does a fantastic job connecting graduates with smaller businesses so they get the benefit of this.

Christina King, Chief Commercial Officer


Opportunities like the RISE scheme are important because they give chances to people like myself who have the capability to make a real difference but may not have a strong professional background. They also provide an alternative to working in a large firm. I get to experience a lot of different areas in my company both directly and indirectly because of how close knit we all are and I also get to work closely with senior management which means a greater sphere of influence.

Mercy Ubani, Bid Manager & RISE graduate

Moore Insight Ltd