PAYE umbrella contractors with expertise in the IT skills market should consider placements with small tech firms, according to one expert who believes they provide exciting opportunities for tekkies.

Ian Hogarth, the Chief Executive Officer of the music website “Songkick,” claims that smaller companies emerging in the technology sector can deliver a stimulating and stable working environment for freelancers specialising in IT contracting. Songkick itself represents one of the success stories for such firms – launched only four years ago, it’s now a thriving enterprise.

But Hogarth’s invitation came with a note of caution: economic circumstances remain extraordinarily difficult for small businesses in particular, and small tech firms have not received sufficient government support at the crucial start-up phase. With government backing, however, he believes they could easily become a highly attractive option for the UK’s best IT talent.

He urged the coalition to do all in its power to assist start-up tech firms to flourish. This would help stop the bigger companies from mopping up all the leading IT talent and help the crucial smaller business sector to drive employment upwards. He said, “We’d like to see the government promote start-ups as a stable, legitimate and exciting option for graduating software engineers.”

Hogarth drew attention to a disturbing fact – even though the UK has some of the finest educational institutions for engineering in the world, most of the country’s top engineering graduates end up joining a management consultancy or a bank. Too many IT graduates think that jobs in software development with a new company are still too risky and they want a more secure option. Adequate government support would dispel this fear, Hogarth believes, and attract talented software engineers – the “lifeblood of tech start-ups” – toward working in new firms.

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