Sir James Dyson: UK Immigration Rules 'Suck'
Sir James Dyson has told Sky News that Britain's immigration rules are "sheer madness" and counter-productive to the country's economic ambitions.
In an interview, Sir James rued a shortage of skilled home-grown engineers and design graduates as he bids to spend £250m expanding his company's research and development (R&D) centre at Malmesbury in Wiltshire.
Dyson hopes the plan - still subject to planning approval - will create 3,000 new jobs.
He told Eamonn Holmes: "Britain is very creative. British people are very creative and if any more of them would do engineering and discover what a creative job it is ... it's not about repairing things it's about inventing and creating new technology and wonderful products.
"It is true that nearly 90% of our researchers at British universities in engineering and science come from overseas and we ought to make them more welcome.
"Indeed nearly half of the undergraduates studying science and engineering are also from outside the EU so I think if we made them welcome from the very beginning and said that when you've qualify you can stay in Britain and help Britain create interesting products that we can export, rather than dis-encouraging them; they go home and then they become competitors to us.
"This is sheer madness" he said, while urging children in school to engage in science and engineering.
Dyson - best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners - said it filed the highest number of patents in the UK in 2012.
Sir James said 90% of its products are exported to 67 countries - with all the tax revenues from sales going to the UK - £130m last year.
He explained that final production engineering and assembly takes place in Malaysia and Singapore because its supply base is in Asia.
Dyson currently invests £3m a week in R&D but this could double, the company said, if the new campus goes ahead.
In response to the inventor's criticism of immigration rules the Home Office denied they were restrictive.
A spokesman said: "There is no limit on the number of graduates who can stay in the UK, as long as they get a graduate level job paying a graduate level salary.
"Students are given four months in the UK after the end of their course to find a job. This is plenty of time for scientists and engineers whose skills are in high demand.
"We changed the rules to stop the widespread abuse of the student system - where low quality students would take low skilled jobs just to stay in the country.
"What we have done instead is build a system that works in the national interest - attracting and retaining talented students and workers to ensure Britain succeeds in the global race."