Graduates FAQs

Here’s a list of the frequently asked questions and answers. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please do contact us or try posing your question to the RISE community on our Facebook page. 

1. Who is involved in the RISE scheme and why?

RISE was created by Sheffield City Council, in partnership with both Universities and private sector representatives.  We have recently welcomed Sheffield City Region to the RISE family and the city region local authorities and are excited to be expanding to offer the scheme formally across the city region.

We believe that bringing together more of our exciting businesses with our graduate talent will drive long term economic success and benefits for the City Region.


2. When was RISE launched?

RISE was a ground breaking initiative, introduced to Sheffield in 2013. Following the success of the pilot scheme we ran three more cohorts in 2014 and 2015, placing over 200 graduates in 150 local businesses. RISE has been renewed for a further three years until 2019 and will formally expand to cover the whole City Region.


3. Why should I work for an SME?

An SME is a small-medium sized enterprise employing up to 250 people. The advantage of joining a smaller business is that you are generally able to get involved in a wider range of stuff and take on more responsibility, more quickly, than in a larger business. You also have more opportunity to suggest new ideas and really make a difference to the business in a short period. Take a look at our RISE case studies and see what RISE interns already working in this size of business have to say.


4. What types of SMEs offer RISE internships?

RISE has a wide range of participating businesses, from engineering firms (e.g. E&P Metals, Eadon Consulting), to manufacturing (e.g. Wilson Benesch, Granton Medical, Pyronix), Third Sector (eg Cathedral Archer Project, Groundwork, Roundabout), technology (e.g. Point Solutions, Lightworks) to HR and recruitment (e.g. Forde, The HR Experts).  


5. What type of job roles are RISE internships?

Our jobs are as diverse as the SMEs taking part.  To give you an idea of the range of roles, RISE internships have included the following: recruitment, digital marketing, PHP development, software engineering, operations and administration, database management, technical support, IT management, translation, construction, e-learning and research.


6.  Will there be further RISE cohorts?

RISE has been renewed for a further three years, from 2016-19.  There will be three cohorts to apply to each year.  Check our vacancies page to see what's available on the next available cohort.


7. Can I apply for more than one role?

You may apply for more than one role, but you will be expected to make a separate application for each role in order to make your application specific to that SME. We advise that you limit yourself to two RISE applications. If submitting a CV for consideration, remember to tweak it for each role!


8. What will the recruitment process look like and what are the timelines?

There are five stages to the RISE recruitment process, which takes several weeks from start to finish: 

  1. Online application form
  2. Video interview
  3. Assessment centre
  4. Final interview
  5. Business Induction

 If you are applying for a job in one of the national skills shortage sectors, such as electrical engineering or software development, you won't be required to complete an assessment centre, but you will complete a short application form and video interview.


9. What if I have other commitments – is there any flexibility on dates?

When making an application for RISE our best advice to you is to flag key dates ahead in your diary and give yourself time to prepare. There is no flexibility on dates and you will need to be available for the business induction, too. 


10. What is the start and end date?

RISE jobs can start any time after the final interviews. The exact start and end dates are set by each business to suit their plans. A RISE position should last no less than 6 months but may last a little longer.


11. I don’t graduate until June – can I apply now?

If you are a student graduating in the summer, you should be applying when you will be available for full time work. RISE jobs are not suitable for students seeking work experience whilst still studying.  Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or sign up here to be updated with news of further intakes.


12. What could I get paid as a RISE intern?

Each business has flexibility to set their own salary to suit their own budgets, but the average starting salary in the region is £16,000pa.  You can check out the adverts for exact details as they become available. Please note that salaries are quoted at a per annum rate on the basis that some jobs may last longer than six months.


13. What do you look for in a successful RISE graduate?

There are some competencies, or qualities, we are looking for throughout the recruitment process including drive, business focus, team work and professionalism. Click here to see the RISE competencies we recruit against. Please do join us on Facebook for more tips and advice about what we are looking for and how to demonstrate it as we go along and watch the Hints & Tips video.


14. Why do I have to provide evidence of Right to Work?

It is a legal requirement for all applicants to provide appropriate documentation to confirm their legal right to work in the UK.  We ask for this at the assessment centre stage of the process.  Without proof of the right to work, no offers of employment can be made. Check out what you need to do at 


15. What is the competition like for a RISE job?

The competition is tough!  In our pilot campaign we received over 1000 applications for 48 jobs.  Some roles were more competitive than others – in particular the Third Sector and HR positions.  Our most popular role attracted 130 applications.


16. What provision is made for candidates with disabilities?

We encourage applicants with disabilities to disclose this on their application form and we do make reasonable adjustments as appropriate.  It is worth noting that some of our SMEs are based in older buildings.  Where there might be issues with access, this will be made evident in any RISE advert.  We encourage candidates to contact us with any specific questions or queries.


17. How can I find out more about the next intake of RISE?

There are four ways to find out more:

  1. You can register your interest by filling out this form:
  2. You can join us on Facebook and Twitter for more insights and regular updates
  3. You can keep checking back on the website.
  4. You can contact us with any questions.