You are here
OxLEP are delighted to bring to you a brand-new podcast, OxTalks, for businesses in Oxfordshire and beyond wanting to take their organisation to the next level.
OxTalks explores the big questions in business – from finding and retaining talent, to adopting new technologies, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and creating equal opportunities.
Hosted by renowned radio and TV presenter, Howard Bentham, the series will see a variety of key industry figures join us in the studio, delving deep on the challenges faced by business communities, both locally and globally.
Series one consisted of six episodes. Our second series is expected to be available by late autumn 2023.
Series one, episode six: 'The changing face of the workplace'
Released 10 July 2023
In this episode, which is the sixth and final in this first series, OxTalks looks into the topic of the ‘changing face of the workplace’.
With a tight labour market – not only in Oxfordshire but across the UK, coupled with many businesses looking into different ways of working following the pandemic – workplaces have needed to embrace transformational working like never before. This episode looks into the four-day working week in particular, an approach to business being considered by more and more organisational leaders.
If we take a long look back to the industrial revolution, the typical Victorian mill owner had workers operating six long days per week, with Sunday as a day of rest. In 1922, it was the Ford Motor Company that experimented with the five-day week, something that became permanent in 1926.
Today, post-Covid 19, our working world is changing shape with an overriding mantra of those championing this new way of working being: 'Don't think about the hours, think about productivity and outcome'. What does it mean for recruitment and retention too?
In this edition of OxTalks, host Howard Bentham is joined by Abena Fairweather – the founder and MD of Legacy – an award-winning, sustainable events agency that has been operating with a four-day week since 2018.
OxLEP’s Sadie Patamia also features in this episode, discussing the company’s recent transition to a four-day working week trial period, which was launched in April this year.
WATCH: OxTalks – series one, episode six: 'The changing face of the workplace'
Series one, episode five: 'Backing business, right now'
Released 24 April 2023
In this episode – which is the fifth in this series – OxTalks looks into the importance of SMEs for both the Oxfordshire and UK economies.
Small and medium-sized businesses are the ‘engine room’ of the UK economy and it is of vital importance that they continue to be backed.
They account for around 99% of the business population in the UK and – although that drops to just under 90% in the city of Oxford itself, attributed by Oxford City Council to the lack of workspace available for start-ups – SMEs still play a very critical role in Oxfordshire.
Nationally, SMEs employed nearly 16.5 million people and in 2022 had a turnover of £2.1 trillion, which is just over half of the UK's total according to government figures.
In this edition of OxTalks, host Howard Bentham is joined by Emma Gibson – South Hub and Reading Office Senior Partner at KPMG Law (covering the Thames Valley) – to discuss the importance of providing support to small businesses, particularly in the current economic market, as well as the role of environmental, social and governance (ESG) in business growth, plus SMEs being able to create a legacy.
WATCH: OxTalks – series one, episode five: 'Backing business, right now'
Series one, episode four: 'Oxfordshire on the global stage'
Released 10 April 2023
In this episode – which is the fourth in this series – OxLEP welcomes Tim Bestwick, the Chief Technology Officer and Director of Strategy, Communications and Business Development for the UK Atomic Energy Authority, based at the Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire.
Oxfordshire is home to some of the world's best and most innovative technologies, helping to address many of the planet's most pressing issues, most recently demonstrated via the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.
An eminent leader at the forefront of Oxfordshire's world-renowned innovation ecosystem discuss why investment into sectors championing transformative technologies is critical for everyone's future – not just in Oxfordshire or the UK, but worldwide – and following on from COP26 and COP27, the role that Oxfordshire has to play in helping to create a cleaner future for everyone.
Joining Tim Bestwick in this podcast is OxLEP’s Head of Innovation and Inward Investment, Sebastian Johnson.
WATCH: OxTalks – series one, episode four: 'Oxfordshire on the global technology stage'
Series one, episode three: 'Retaining world-class talent for Oxfordshire'
Released 27 March 2023
Some of the world's most-talented people work in the county with a host of globally-significant companies calling Oxfordshire home. Last year alone spin-outs, start-ups and social enterprises from Oxford University Innovation generated over £30 million of income.
Many of these people, and the organisations they work for, are delivering critical responses to major issues within fields like energy, medicine and emerging technologies.
But as one of the most expensive locations to live in the UK, how can we ensure that Oxfordshire retains - and importantly develops - the world's best talent for the benefit of everyone, nationwide and internationally?
In this episode, Howard Bentham is joined by Chas Bountra and Dr Rajarshi Banerjee for their thoughts on mapping out a clear and affordable path to building a successful business in Oxfordshire.
WATCH: OxTalks – series one, episode three: 'Retaining world-class talent in Oxfordshire'
Series one, episode two: 'Destination Oxfordshire: Is tourism the key to all sectors?'
Released on 13 March 2023
With major retail locations, an award-winning World Heritage site and an area of outstanding natural beauty, Oxfordshire has a visitor economy offer like no other – but like all four corners of the globe, following the Covid-19 outbreak, its tourism industry has suffered from a lack of footfall.
Working with its local destination management organisations, OxLEP has recently-launched a new programme, aimed at promoting Oxfordshire as a ‘staycation’ of choice in the UK. But is there more we should be doing collectively?
In this podcast, we find out in the company of Dominic Hare from Blenheim Palace, why the county’s visitor economy must be supported and highlight its criticality to many other related sectors too, helping them to be both profitable and successful.
WATCH: OxTalks – series one, episode two: 'Destination Oxfordshire: Is tourism the key to all sectors?'
Series one, episode one: 'Creating Opportunities For All Communities'
Released on 27 February 2023
Despite being home to the world's best university for a seventh year running, Oxfordshire has many communities that suffer from deprivation, major cost of living difficulties and a lack of opportunities.
The county contains 17 wards, specifically in Oxford, Banbury and Abingdon, that fall into the 20% most deprived areas in England.
For those struggling communities, what are the barriers they are facing? Are there realistic solutions? And is there the will to fix this?
Host Howard Bentham speaks to Andy Edwards, one of the key players at Makespace Oxford, who are helping to reimagine spaces, and locations for the benefit of all. We'll also learn just what OxLEP are doing to support this change through its latest batch of business support programmes.
WATCH: OxTalks – series one, episode one: 'Creating Opportunities For All Communities'
Listen to OxTalks:
Prefer listening to your podcasts? Head to our latest OxTalks episodes below:
Series one, episode six – 'The changing face of the workplace'
Series one, episode five – 'Backing business, right now'
Series one, episode four – 'Oxfordshire on the global technology stage'
Series one, episode three – 'Retaining world-class talent in Oxfordshire'
Series one, episode two – 'Destination Oxfordshire: Is tourism the key to all sectors?'
Series one, episode one – 'Creating Opportunities For All Communities'.
OxTalks is hosted by broadcaster, Howard Bentham:
“I am delighted to be working with OxLEP on this brand-new podcast series for the Oxfordshire community. It’s a tough time for businesses in the current market, so whether you’re based in Oxfordshire or beyond, we’re here to listen and answer your questions with the help of some of the county’s most respected leaders. You don’t want to miss it!”
Our OxTalks podcasts are produced by and recorded at the studios of the Oxford-based, Story-Ninety Four.