Dyson Warns Government Over UK Manufacturing
The Government must do more to protect the future of manufacturing in Britain, inventor Sir James Dyson has warned.
The entrepreneur, who is famous for inventing the bagless Dyson vacuum cleaner, said Britain will have a deficit of 60,000 engineering graduates this year.
Too much emphasis has been placed on "the glamour of web fads and video gaming" over "tangible technology that we can export", he argued.
The 65-year-old's comments come despite Dyson's decision around 10 years ago to move production to Malaysia, with the loss of 550 jobs.
He said: "The Government must do more to attract the brightest and best into engineering and science so that we can compete internationally. 26% of engineering graduates do not go into engineering or technical professions.
"More worrying is that 85% of all engineering and science postgraduates in our universities come from outside the UK."
Speaking to the Radio Times magazine, he said: "Yet nine in 10 leave the UK after they finish their studies. British knowledge is simply taken abroad.
"Engineering postgraduates need to be encouraged with generous salaries. A salary of £7,000 a year for postgraduate research is insulting."
Asked to reconcile his remarks with Dyson's decision to shift manufacturing jobs abroad, he told Sky News all the firm's machines were still conceived and developed at its research and development headquarters in Wiltshire.
"We have more scientists and engineers there than ever before, over 750 Dyson scientists and engineers developing technology for the next 25 years," he said.
"Last year, another 220 engineers joined the team, a third of them graduates. But we need more. Dyson is expanding, new markets and new machines.
"Our future technology depends on nurturing bright minds to develop technology for export, but there is a shortage of engineers in the UK. To help businesses the Government needs to encourage more students into engineering subjects.
"Businesses full of bright minds can then develop patented technology for export."
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: "Engineering graduates go into a range of sectors, including financial services and retail as well as manufacturing.
"We are working closely with industry and continue to look at various ways to support engineering at all levels, including engagement in schools, apprenticeships and postgraduate training.
"Applications for engineering courses at university have held up this year."
what do you think?
Sometimes I think our political leaders are in the pay of those who wish to see this nation broken completely
Explain your thinking please. Also, if it's possible explain the ten people who agreed with you without asking you to explain your thinking to them !
What is left to protect? It's company's like Dyson that mean its gone. If he wants to protect the industry then he can bring back jobs from abroad so there will be something to protect. I doubt he will though no one here will work for £1 a day
If he manufactures here with our rates of pay he will be in competition with those who manufacture in countries with " far " lower rates of pay.
why gives thumbs down to pjbeckett what is being stated in that post is correct
Dave - It's the research and design side of the industry that he says needs government support. As much as it distresses me, pjbecketts comment is accurate. It is capitalism that has drove jobs abroad.
lol mcr I disagree with your comment that capitalism drove jobs abroad. It is high taxation that continues to do that.
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Buy British. If they cant truly stamp that on it then i dont want it
Brian - I'm confused by your distinction, corporation tax in China is circa 25%, so not a massive difference, it's the wages which are so much lower. Either way, the loss of jobs here is due to capitalist values and a desire to make as much money as possible regardless of the consequences.
So who will have the most influence on the government or any combination of the Lib/Lab/Cons ? A successful manufacturer like Dyson or the Bilderburgers, who want us to spread manufacturing over the underdeveloped countries ?
Pot calling the kettle black
There are some well established manufacturers still trying to make headway in this country - our company cannot move abroad because the raw materials (clay) are on our doorstep and we manufacture here where it is just about economic to do so. BUT the government seem to be doing everything within their power to prevent us from continuing mostly due to stupid 'green' taxes that make the power to fire the clay so enormously uncompetitive in relation to the rest of the world that it makes us wonder why we bother trying. The brick industry in the UK is about a third of the size that it was when I joined it 14 years ago and still shrinking!
The so called green tax is a licence to print money the planet is going through its natural cycle. There as been no change in the planets temp for over 15 yrs but still we're face with higher taxes its a total sham
Adj - you know it - I know it - but there is no-one shouting it down Cameloonies lug-hole!
That's rich, from the man who moved production to CHINA. Could have stayed and sponsored a graduate or employed a newly qualified one. It's businessmen like him who are always going to China that are ruining this country. Question, if I please Sir, what happens when CHINA raises its prices and there's no else where to buy from ?
He moves it to another country where the costs are lower. There is a problem in that we in the uk buy on price and will generally buy the 'best value' equipment. This is often turning out to be false economy when the item breaks down irrepairably after a short amount of time. But if Dysons want to sell here, they have to produce at the lowest possible cost.
Well said Eric. What happens when you can't exploit us wage slaves anymore? Capitalism will destroy itself
He has only moved because governments here don't create the right conditions to employ people. Get us out of EU and all the associated costs and it might be a different story!
True, Stephen. Except if we did get out of the EU and manage to reduce costs our idiot Government would see that as an opportunity to increase taxes even further.
China has raised prices,now they have captured our manufacturing base nothing is any cheaper on the shelves,or is it just the importers and retailers making excess profit from cheap labour. As for dyson cleaners,overpriced futuristic looking, made of substandard plastic. tat
Dyson has himself faced the dilemma of high manufacturing costs this is not just about wage rates but costs and Government are oblivious. It is not just about graduate jobs we need to develop all manufacturing skill levels. We are led by people with no experience in manufacturing or business and unions with self interests.
When a company leaves the UK to manufacture abroad the excuse trotted out is always labour costs. That is a lie. Corporation tax alone was 28% in 2010 (23% for 2013), industrial electricity is even more expensive than domestic, commercial rents and property taxes are still sky high, water taxes, NI and employee tax liabilities are another add-on, transport costs are a complete joke. These are all the responsibility of our tax-addicted governments going back many years. Quite simply, our elected representatives make the UK a very nad business investment prospect.
"The 65-year-old's comments come despite Dyson's decision around 10 years ago to move production to Malaysia, with the loss of 550 jobs." Dysons about as British as Green Curry, I hate that he claims to be a manufacture of a British product. He sold the workers out for the share holders profits 10 years ago and has done nothing but moan about the state of Britain since then.
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England will be 3rd world soon
I agree with James Dyson on not enough brilliant engineers being educated in this country ,all our best brains going into Banking and Legal services .The latter being non productive (a complete waste of space). Dyson should move his new plants to Britain (North will be good) as we did give him a good base to start.
What happens when he finds himself trying to sell a product which costs him more to produce than an almost identicle product which someone else can import for a lot less ? Untill not so long ago he would have been protected by import duties.
The price of transport from Asia wages are also rising making it possible to make it cheaper here as some manufacturers are finding out.But if UKIP take us out of Europe it will not happen.
This from the guy who pulled his production out of Britain to move to china to make even more money cos he didn't lower his prices and all this before recession - he's got a cheek to preach