University of Sheffield

The RISE of more graduate opportunities.

Gradcore, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield City Council joined forces to deliver RISE – a business support initiative that built a bridge between graduates and SMEs in the Sheffield City Region. A venture that continues to benefit the region today.

RISE began in 2015. The aim of the project was simple enough: to enable local SMEs to recruit more graduates and access the untapped talent in the area. But the reality was more challenging.

Most graduates don’t gravitate towards smaller organisations to begin their careers. By their nature, SMEs aren’t as visible in the marketplace, despite providing a great environment to grow. Gradcore’s job was to increase awareness of the opportunities out there – taking control of the candidate journey from attraction to selection.

The key to reaching the right graduates required a combination of using Gradcore’s large database of suitable graduates, along with an advertising campaign that would engage the target audience and share the benefits of working for an SME. A strategy that worked brilliantly.

Laura Talbot, Employer Engagement and Placements Officer at the University of Sheffield, shares the positive results of the project:

“Throughout the five years that Gradcore worked with us to deliver RISE, supported over 450 graduates to work with SMEs across the Sheffield City Region. Throughout the project, they kept us well informed and produced detailed reports to keep us on track.”

With this foundation to build on, the RISE partners now use the success of previous rounds of RISE to showcase the range of opportunities available and benefits of working for a local SME – helping to build a stronger local economy.

Services used:
  • City Wide Graduate Schemes

“Gradcore were great to work with. The team are lovely, throughout they kept us well informed, we spoke regularly and they produced detailed reports for us to keep track of how our students and graduates were progressing throughout the project.”
Laura Talbot, Employer Engagement and Placements Officer


graduates now working with SMEs in Sheffield