Posted by Ollie ● 20 January 2020

Nine Learnings from Series Three of the Early Careers Podcast

RMP Enterprise Co-founder Ollie Sidwell co-hosts The Jack & Ollie Show | The Early Careers Podcast, which shares insights, trends and innovations across the early careers space.

Launched with AllAboutGroup’s Co-founder Jack Denton in September 2018, the 5 star-rated podcast has been a rip-roaring success across the early careers space.

As Series 3 concludes, Ollie shares a wrap up of the takeaways from the eight interviews, along with a bonus fact in the final podcast.


Many great series never get past a second outing. Fawlty Towers, one of the greatest British sitcoms featuring John Cleese from the 1970s only had two series… Ricky Gervais’s critically acclaimed - and much-quoted still to this day - The Office from 2000 also only had two series. 

Maybe they ran out of content? Maybe they got bored? Luckily for Jack & I, we’ve stacks of content and bundles of excitement as we proudly eclipse two heroes of ours in completing the third series of The Jack & Ollie Show | The Early Careers Podcast.

In Series 3 we covered a huge variety of topics, starting the series looking at both choosing training providers and onboarding apprentices, taking The Jack & Ollie Show | The Early Careers Podcast ‘on the road’ again and kicking off our ‘Global Series’ by looking at early careers outside of the UK… starting with Asia.

Below are nine key learnings from the podcasts and you can listen in full by clicking on each, or finding ‘The Jack & Ollie Show | The Early Careers Podcast’ on any of your major podcasting platforms.

* * *

Claire McLellan, Director of Apprenticeships at Escalla Training, discusses The ultimate guide to choosing a training provider. Claire shares what to look out for, whether you’re starting a new apprenticeship scheme or thinking of moving training providers. Useful for all involved in apprentice recruitment; we cover the growing importance of considerate pastoral care and she gives a great insight into how and when training providers are rated by Ofsted.

Anna Champion, Founder of South-East Asian Association of Graduate Employers (SEAAGE) network kicks of our Global Graduate Recruitment Series, Part 1, Asia. Having worked in the UK previously and in Hong Kong & Singapore for a decade, Anna gives her top tips across both attraction and selection. We discuss strategies to successfully work across multiple time zones, religions and languages, how a strictly academic all-Indian ranking determines campus interviewing in India. Anna also shares her top tips for employers working in global businesses to work better with teams based in Asia.

Phill Page, Head of Emerging Talent and Kayley Dewey, End Users Service Development and former apprentice at J.P. Morgan share their successful Onboarding & integrating apprentices strategy which has seen retention rates reach 85% over a five-year period. Useful for anyone recruiting apprentices; they discussed: getting the work-life-learn balance right, how their onboarding week-long ‘boot camp’ works, and the importance of embarrassing songs being played upon graduation!

image to use2

Sam Hope, Head of Attraction and Recruitment at Shoosmiths shares The secrets to a successful social media strategy. Leading her two-person team, Sam attributes much of her consistent, innovative and people-first social strategy to reducing her previously high 23% drop-out rate for assessment centres, down to an astonishing 0.5%. Useful for all stakeholders with a social presence - so all of you! Sam shares the importance of specific early careers handles, the utilisation of the wider marketing team and partnerships with industry influencers.

Claudia Harris, CEO & Aimee Higgins, Director of Employers and Partnerships at The Careers & Enterprise Co discuss Employer Engagement within Schools & Colleges. Initially set up to support ‘cold spots’ in rural regions, The Careers & Enterprise Co has expanded over the past five years and now works across the UK supporting and facilitating successful employer and school partnerships. Useful for anyone in and engaging with schools & colleges, Claudia & Aimee introduce their Regional Enterprise Co-ordinator network and share their successes of focusing on people and CSR within businesses.

Sarah Sheikh, Chair and Simeon Smith, Vice-Chair of PlaceNet join us to showcase the value of placements and ask Why aren’t more employers offering placements? It’s proven students who do a year-long placement see 4% higher degree scores compared to those that don’t. PlaceNet - the network of university placement officers across the UK - share the creative ways universities are successfully embedding employability into the curriculum through initiatives such as: micro-placements, social enterprises and funding partnerships, to ensure they’re giving their students the best chance of success upon graduation.

Image to use

Sophie Milliken, Director of multi-award winning SRS focuses on Embedding Employability Within Universities - Playing The Long Game. Sophie shares best practice and her top tips for universities integrating employability and also launches her new book ‘From Learner to Earner’ which helps students learn more about themselves, their skills and what can make themselves more employable upon graduation.

Ben Williams, business psychologist, Chair of the Association for Business Psychology and founder of Sten10, closes off Series 3 with a focus on Assessment & Selection: What works best and when it comes to workplace psychological tests. Ben shares the pros and cons of various tests along with best practice for volume recruitment and employers with smaller intakes or more specialised roles and... We also learn the largest species of dolphin is… An Orca (also known as a killer whale), which meant we were able to sneak Michael Jackson’s Free Willy theme tune into the podcast too. 

* * *

Looking ahead into Series 4, we’ll be extending our global series by speaking with Cathy Sims who heads up the South African Association of Graduate Employers and interview Ellie Long from E.ON regarding their new initiatives supporting the community in their localised apprentice recruitment. 

We’ll also interview our second guest with a knighthood… Sir John Holman - knighted in 2010 for services to education - joins us to explore the Gatsby Benchmarks he created to help provide a framework of guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges. Plenty to look forward to!

You can listen to all of the previous three series via any major podcasting app or via the website here.

Do ‘pass on the pod’ if you think anyone else would benefit and please get in touch if you have any feedback, or if you’d like to suggest a topic and interviewee for future podcasts. 

Thanks again for listening! 🎧

Ollie. 

Topics: Industry Insights, RMP News

Comments