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Retailers put preparations in place for large London tech jobs fair

Tesco, Arcadia, and Kingfisher will be among the retail organisations on the hunt for new technology talent at one of the UK’s largest tech jobs fairs on 23-24 November.

These companies – alongside several more of the UK’s most prominent retail organisations – are confirmed attendees at Silicon Milkroundabout, as the search for suitable expertise to fuel the digital development of the industry continues apace.

London’s Old Truman Brewery will play host to the event, which is set to focus on product, design and marketing roles on Saturday 23 November, before switching attention to developers and data scientists the following day.

Silicon Milkroundabout said its last UK event, held at the same venue in April, attracted 3,199 technology professionals – spanning content marketers to data engineers, and UX designers to iOS developers.

It noted that 35% of attendees were in senior or c-level positions and looking for a new challenge, while 41% – and the majority of attendees – comprised those in mid-level roles ready to take the next step. The remaining 24% of attendees were either in junior positions or just starting out in their careers.

Trade association the British Retail Consortium said last month that the number of people working in the retail industry has fallen for the last 15 quarters, and called on the government to provide the relevant support for the industry to invest in growth and new jobs.

Chief executive of the body, Helen Dickinson, said: “While MPs rail against job losses in manufacturing, their response to larger losses in retail has remained muted.

“The government should enact policies that enable retailers to invest more in the millions of people who choose to build their careers in retail.”

She added that reforming broken business rates system and addressing the inflexibilities of the apprenticeship levy will allow retailers to focus on “enhancing their digital and physical offerings for customers”, which will inevitably entail recruiting new digital and tech talent.

Additional retailers and retail-related organisations planning to be in attendance at the forthcoming Silicon Milkroundabout event are Gousto, Lush, Moonpig, Notonthehighstreet.com, Ocado Technology, Selfridges, and The White Company.

Members of the Lush team will present a session on Sunday covering why it invests in “tech for good”, while Gousto will take part in a panel debate alongside BBC Design and Engineering, Grey Parrot, and JustGiving on the Sunday.

The application deadline for tickets to the event is Wednesday 20 November at 15:00 GMT.

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