Sir James Dyson issues engineering warning

Sir James Dyson issues engineering warning

Britain's engineering industry stands on the cusp of a crisis, according to one of its most influential voices.

Sir James Dyson is widely recognised as one of the country's most innovative entrepreneurs and he has bemoaned the current state of the sector.

In particular, Sir James is fearful of a shortage of engineering graduates, suggesting that Britain could soon fall behind its international competitors.

What's more, he observed that the shortage of engineers could have a significant impact on the UK's economy moving forwards.

Despite recently announcing an impressive set of financial figures for the last 12 months, Sir James stressed that the health of his firm is dependent on the education system producing young engineers.

And he warned that if the firm is unable to recruit such people in the UK, they would be willing to look further afield.

"We'll get all the workers we need in Singapore and Malaysia," Sir James explained. "But we have to be realistic in Britain. If we can get 300 we'll be doing well. We would recruit 2,000 if we could. We have got the technology and the ideas. We just need the people."

He observed that educational reforms are needed in order to address the issue. To this end, he proposed ensuring that design technology is recognised as a science A-level alongside maths, physics and chemistry.

Sir James also said that reforms are needed at degree level, remarking: "More than 80 per cent of post-graduate science and engineering students at British universities are from outside the European Union and the percentage is growing."

He added that out of 3,000 engineering post-grads, only 50 are British. "The tragedy is that they go back home and take back the technology they have developed in British universities and become our competitors."

Last year, meanwhile, Dyson opened a new £150 million motor manufacturing facility in Singapore, furthering its presence in the Far East.

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