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.


Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in ChesterfieldTagged in , , , , , ,

Mitchells Chartered Accountants blasts off the New Year by announcing new recruits

Mitchells Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers based in central Chesterfield are starting 2021 with optimism and have announced the recent recruitment of several new staff members.

The leading accountancy firm has a long-established reputation as an excellent employer and are also part of the Chesterfield Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, helping to promote all aspects of apprenticeships, including traineeships, higher and degree level apprenticeships.

Their Employer Solutions team continue to provide support and guidance to their clients through the myriad of changes to Government support measures; ensuring their clients take full advantage of the various available grants and other support mechanisms. Their Corporate teams also continue to advise their clients through the complexities of Brexit.

Despite the current economic environment, they have also continued to experience high demand for their core services from their growing client base, consisting primarily of owner-managed SME’s. To assist with this growth, they have recently recruited several new full time members of staff.

Recently, Mitchells moved to strengthen their small business department with the return of a former placement Student, Jessica Wright. Jess completed a year’s placement with Mitchells during 2018-2019 and went on to achieve a first class degree in Mathematics from Sheffield Hallam University. Even though Jess didn’t study accountancy, the time she spent with Mitchells gave her an essential insight into the industry which confirmed her future career path.

Small Business Manager, Laura Pain said: “We were very pleased to welcome Jess back to the firm in September this year and she is now studying towards her professional qualifications.”

Partner Andrew McDaid said: “We believe that staffing is a critical factor in service delivery and look for knowledgeable, personable team members who will receive training to ensure they meet modern-day business demands, as well as the human side of being a people-to-people business.”

Regarding the various new roles, Andrew went on to explain: “The roles are client facing and we therefore require individuals who are keen to advance their knowledge of accounting by applying themselves in a dynamic accountancy practice.”

Charlie Furniss recently started, having been made redundant from his role as an assistant accountant at another firm, due to Covid-19. He is currently level 3 AAT qualified and looking forward to further his studies at Mitchells.

Charlie said “Having been made redundant at such a young age during the current pandemic, I was nervous about getting another job. I am delighted to have joined Mitchells, where everyone is so friendly and helpful. I am driven by learning new skills and expanding my working experience and can’t wait to complete my AAT qualification”.

Jeffrey O’Gara recently started having graduated with a first class degree in Accounting & Finance in 2018 at Sheffield Hallam University. He initially moved into industry but was looking for the right move into practice.

Jeffrey explained “I am eager to learn and plan on becoming a Chartered Accountant in the next few years and I believe Mitchells will be a great place for me to achieve this. The chance to work with and improve the local business community with a personal touch is something I want to be involved in”.

Mitchells’ specialist corporate finance team provide a complete end-to-end service for businesses looking at an acquisition, a management buy out, business sale or succession planning. They have extensive experience of successfully arranging corporate finance packages for businesses across a wide range of sectors, including hospitality, manufacturing, commercial construction, healthcare and transport, with finance amounts ranging from £100,000 to £200 million.

Despite the current challenging environment, they are still completing on many deals and don’t see this stopping any time soon.

Andrew McDaid said “We are always forward-thinking and have been pondering the shape of the post-pandemic world. We knew we wanted to strengthen our corporate finance team to accommodate our strategic ambitions and we knew we had found the right guy with Rob Drake”.

Rob recently started at Mitchells as a corporate finance executive. Rob obtained a 1st class degree in Mathematics at University of Sheffield and became a Chartered Accountant in 2019.

Robert was a financial consultant for a High Street bank for several years before moving into practice. He has developed experience working for a wide range of business within both an accounting and audit capacity having worked at a large regional firm since 2016. Having completed his ACA exams in 2019, Robert was seeking an opportunity away from audit that would allow him to continue his professional development.

Rob explained: “When I decided to pursue opportunities outside of audit, I was keen to expand my knowledge in corporate finance. After meeting with Andrew, Tony and Tim, I instantly recognised that we shared the same values. I’m very much looking forward to working with the team and helping deliver a quality service to existing and new clients of Mitchells.”

Andrew McDaid commented: “Robert is a highly confident individual; he is a very personable individual and demonstrates excellent communication skills with a clear commitment to working hard and continuing the development of his career”.

When asked about the challenges in recruiting, training and servicing its clients during a lockdown, Andrew said: “Our IT strategy has always been to invest heavily in technology to keep our business relevant and competitive. This included an upgrade of our entire IT hardware in 2020, which together with our cloud servers meant that we were able to transition to full time remote working without any issues whatsoever. We have the necessary tools and software to create collaborative experiences for staff and clients, which help to develop important relationships and ultimately continue to deliver standout client service.”

Mitchells are enthusiastic energised by the possibilities of 2021 and beyond and encourage the business community to remain optimistic.

Mitchells supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.


Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Funded training available to employers and individuals facing redundancy in Chesterfield

Funded training has been made available to employers and individuals facing redundancy in Chesterfield and the wider Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire region.

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) and Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR) are programmes developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in the D2N2 area, along with offering tailored training for individuals at risk of redundancy or those who have recently been made redundant.

SSR helps people access training courses in order to further their skills and qualifications to help them get back into the workplace. The project works in collaboration with the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and the National Careers Service (NCS).

It helps provide advice on how to claim benefits, how to create a CV and provides career guidance. It also works to bridge any skills gap an individual may have that prevents them from getting back into the workplace.

Courses include IT skills, administration, leadership and management, education, health and social care, warehousing and storage and retail operations.

SSW provides recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance your employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of your business and boost the local economy.

Training on offer includes:

Upskill for workplace success

-Training and advice in a wide range of vocational and sector specific training to help secure employment in your existing business or to help you change your career

Career progression training 

-Developing higher skill levels to take you to the next step in your career, such as leadership and management or supervisory skills and training

Support with securing a new job

-To give you the best chance of securing a new role, the project can help build on your transferable skills and support where required with CV writing, online job searching, completing applications and interview techniques, or signpost you to local services that will be able to offer additional support

Rob Matts, Head of Skills Support for the Workforce at Serco, said: “I would urge businesses looking to train their staff, and individuals looking to progress their career, to take advantage of the funded training on offer. We look forward to enabling more businesses to upskill their staff and grow.”

For more information and eligibility criteria, email or visit

To find out more about working in Chesterfield, click here 


Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , , , ,

Derbyshire County Council offers free careers advice for those who need it

Derbyshire County Council says it is offering free careers advice to anyone who is aged over 19, or anyone who is 18 and not working or in education. They can ask for free advice on:

  • Training courses – including how to get funding
  • Career planning – including help to understand the current labour market, identifying skills, looking at new career paths and routes into employment
  • How to write a CV or update an existing one
  • How to write covering letters that will gain the attention of prospective employers
  • Helpful tips on finding new employment such as making the most of ‘Find a Job’, using social media and exploring the hidden labour market guidance on how to write an application form and relating it to a possible interview

Appointments are either offered on the phone, or by video call. Advice is also available by email or text.

Cabinet Member for Young People, Councillor Alex Dale said: “We can offer advice to those who may have been affected by the changes to the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you have been made redundant and need help then please get in touch and our friendly and knowledgeable team can help you with your CV, offer advice on training, or suggest a change of career.
“There is government funding earmarked for training and job creation, and our team of career coaches can help you to find out more.”

The team can also offer advice on interview skills, including video interviews and advice on volunteering and work experience opportunities on offer across the county.

You can find out more by visiting the County Council’s website. Find out more about working in Chesterfield here. 

Chesterfield is the first town in the UK to declare itself an Apprentice Town – demonstrating its commitment to growing the future and careers of young people alongside business and the economy by retaining and developing young talent in the town in order to attract more employers to invest here. Find out more about apprenticeships in Chesterfield

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Keep up to date

Dont miss out on all the latest news, updates & special offers.

Signup to our newsletter