Chesterfield News

Fifth cohort of RISE graduate scheme now available to Chesterfield businesses

The latest cohort of graduates is now available to Chesterfield businesses, as part of a unique business support initiative focussed on enabling small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow through the employment of graduate talent.

RISE has been effective in helping SMEs overcome the barriers faced in graduate recruitment and equipping them with the tools and know-how to become successful graduate employers.

Since 2013 RISE has supported more than 400 SMEs based across the Sheffield City Region, including Chesterfield successfully recruit over 500 graduates.

Many of those businesses have gone on to report increases in turnover, productivity, innovation and growth as a result. The enhanced RISE project now provides even more comprehensive business support and business benefits.

  • RISE support is free for businesses to use
  • The scheme will help businesses access top quality graduate talent for your business through the following means:
    • Help to draft an advert, providing graduate-specific labour market advice and expertise
    • Advertise the role as part of a national targeted advertising campaign
    • Undertake candidate selection processes using application forms, technical tests, video interviews and assessment centres
    • Assist in the logistics of setting up final interviews
  • Sessions/training on best-practice recruitment, allowing us to transfer the know-how to recruit graduates in the future
  • A grant available for businesses who use the scheme for the first time

Oliver Tarrant, SME Engagement manager with RISE said: “During these uncertain times we recognise how important it is that small and medium sized businesses, who are wanting to grow their business and recruit talented graduates, receive high-quality, straightforward, and safe support.

“We will work closely with businesses to provide a tailored service and to help them save costs and time, offering a rigorous selection process.

“We are engaging with businesses from now until 10th February, but we are ideally looking for businesses to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Rikki Stout, Head of HR at Barlborough-based e-commerce business, Xbite, explains: “We connected with RISE because we wanted to meet, train and develop fresh graduate talent. We understand the value in finding ambitious young people who are hungry for experience and seeking a challenge. RISE has matched us with excellent people straight from university, meaning we can nurture and develop them early on. We are part of their journey and they are part of ours.

“There are many challenges faced by businesses looking to recruit graduates. Time to recruit well is a big one. As is the cost of sourcing, meeting and connecting with people. This is addressed by RISE. But fear of bringing in new people who might not have the exact experience of your systems or industry shouldn’t be a barrier to growth.”

Rikki Stout, Xbite

You can find out more by going to the RISE website or by emailing

RISE is part-funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.


Josh Marsh

Destination Chesterfield Coordinator (Investment and Marketing)

Email Josh
RISE initiative

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