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Dyson: UK must start producing more engineers

James Dyson - we're big fans...
James Dyson - we're big fans...

Sir James Dyson has told TechRadar of his frustration that the UK is not encouraging enough of its brightest kids to pursue engineering at university.

Dyson is considered one of the biggest innovators in UK technology - with the likes of his vacuum cleaners and fans hitting the headlines globally.

But in an interview for TechRadar's Brit week, Dyson told us that he believes that Britain is simply not turning out enough graduates in engineering, admitting his own company has struggled to bring in the calibre of post-university students it needs.

Great universities

"We have great universities, but not enough young graduates to show for it," said Dyson.

"In the UK, there are 37,000 engineering vacancies every year, but only 22,000 graduates. "Many British companies have potential but a lack of skilled people can hold up invention and export.

"At Dyson we are trying to double our engineering team to 700. It is taking longer than planned.

"Britain's recent 'budget for making things' is promising but green shoots take a long time to develop; training in university must reflect that, in line with support for business."

Encourage innovation

Dyson is keen to help encourage youngsters to innovate, and has embarked on projects to achieve this.

"My Foundation works in schools to show young people how things are made, what materials are used and how to take them apart," he added.

"We also try to inspire young people through the James Dyson Award - which is run in 18 countries and calls on young people to come up with problem-solving inventions.

"Automist, the 2009 winner, is a device that detects a fire and puts it out; it's now on the market."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. He is a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere has been and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.