James Dyson has spoken out against the government’s support of the digital sector over the nation’s engineers, as he plans to recruit 650 new engineers.
In the interview with the Guardian, he said: “We hear a lot about Silicon Roundabout, but companies such as Facebook employ 4,000 people whereas Caterpillar [the tractor and digger manufacturer] has 150,000.
“Companies like mine, or Jaguar Land Rover, are booming. I am recruiting 650 highly trained engineers and scientists now but I could take on 2,000 if I could find them.”
This comes as yet another rallying cry from a man who has placed himself at the forefront of the issue, both with the Dyson Foundation and the James Dyson Award, but it will sit somewhat uncomfortably with many after Dyson’s upheaval of part of its facilities to from the UK to Malaysia.
Dyson continued: “We can’t get enough engineers – 88% of postgraduate students in Britain are from outside the EU and they are taking their technology skills back home with them. We need [ministers] to talk up the opportunities in engineering at every opportunity.”
New postgraduate British recruits will be paid £33,000 a year plus a £3,000 bonus to work at the firm’s R&D base in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. However he only expects 250 of the prospective recruits will be British.
Do you agree that potential engineering growth is being restricted by the government’s pursuit of trendy ‘silicon roundabout’-style proposals? Or is digital enterprise too important to abandon with the increasing significance of digital design and manufacture?