Dyson Institute takes aim at skills gap

UK engineering pioneer James Dyson has launched his own University to help bridge the growing skills gap. Dyson says he will provide £15m over the next five years into the Dyson Institute of Technology, as he looks to double his engineering workforce to 6,000 by 2020.

“We are competing globally with Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. It’s all the major technology nations and we have got to be better than them,” he said.

Dyson said the shortage of adequately qualified engineers was a global problem and that the private sector in the UK had a duty to contribute towards upskilling workforce in whatever way it can.

““[The shortage of engineers is] a problem in America and Europe and has started to become a problem in Japan. It seems that the fast-growing economies or emerging nations really recognise the value of engineering, but when you reach security there is less interest in what makes you successful.”

The Dyson Institute – which the investor says will be based at Dyson’s campus in Wiltshire – will admit its first 25 students in September next year. According to the company, initially degrees will be awarded by Warwick University, but Dyson says he is applying for powers from the Department of Education to create a fully fledged university.