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UK start-ups kick off the hunt for new talent


As the UK's technology sector struggles to attract computer science graduates, start-ups have clubbed together to offer more than 500 jobs in an attempt to lure talent away from joining the City.

The move comes in the build-up to the second "Silicon Milkroundabout", the jobs fair for the London tech start-up community, next month. The event was set up by Ian Hogarth, the chief executive and co-founder of music start-up Songkick.

Among the more than 120 companies backing the recruitment drive are Mind Candy, which owns the hugely popular Moshi Monsters brand, music-identifying group Shazam and ticket-exchange company Viagogo.

Mr Hogarth said: "We, along with many of our friends from other start-ups, struggle with the shortage of computer science graduates and experienced software developers."

He added that many potential candidates were "not aware of tech start-ups as an alternative to the more traditional routes of working for a bank, a consultancy, Google, Facebook or Microsoft". The event organisers hope to raise awareness of the opportunities among graduates, and attract more start-ups to take part.

In the east London area dubbed Tech City UK there are more than 500 tech start-ups, Mr Hogarth said, with "many eager to recruit the best developer talent. Big corporations spend a fortune on advertising and recruitment, with the effect of drowning out the noise that start-ups have made until now."

The previous Milkroundabout in May was oversubscribed with companies looking to lure graduates. The name is a nod to the "milk-round" recruitment drives carried out by big companies at UK universities, and a nod to Tech City's nickname of Silicon Roundabout.

Eric Van der Kleij, chief executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation, pointed out that the technology industry in the UK contributes £66.4bn a year to the economy. He added: "One of the biggest challenges is finding the very best tech talent and convincing them that start-ups are the place to be."