Sir James Dyson warns of “crippling shortage” of engineers

Issuing fresh criticism of the Prime Minister, Sir James Dyson claims that the pledge to turn to the UK into a science and technology superpower is a “mere political slogan”.

Despite being a prominent entrepreneur in the UK, the Founder and Chief Engineer of Dyson expressed his dissatisfaction at still not having met Rishi Sunak, as he wrote in a letter to The Times.

“Ministers talk hubristically of Britain becoming a ‘science and technology superpower’ but their woeful policies diminish this to a mere political slogan,” he said.

“In the UK, Dyson now faces rocketing corporation tax (wiping out any tax credits for research and development) … and a crippling shortage of qualified engineers.”

Earlier in 2023, the UK published a roadmap for reaching tech superpower status by 2030 through a new International Technology Strategy.

The UK Government plans to work closely with governments, academia, and industry to leverage the UK’s strengths in technology through international partnerships with established and emerging science and technology powerhouse nations.

The sector was worth $1 trillion in 2022, and the UK is home to more than 85,000 startups and scaleups. More investment was generated in the UK tech sector last year than in France and Germany combined, creating, and sustaining high quality jobs around the country.

Dyson cautioned Sunak earlier this year that growth must not be perceived as a “dirty word” and accused the government of having a “short-sighted” attitude towards business.

Dyson employs 3,500 people in the UK and seeks to celebrate, encourage, and inspire the next generation of design engineers through its James Dyson Award. The international design award is open to current and recent design engineering students and is run by the James Dyson Foundation – James Dyson’s charitable trust, as part of its mission to get young people excited about design engineering.

The competition is open annually to designers who think differently, to create products that work better.

“Young design engineers have the ability to develop tangible technologies that can change lives. The James Dyson Award rewards those who have the persistence and tenacity to develop their ideas,” said Dyson.