The billionaire vacuum inventor wants the government to offer tuition fee free engineering degrees to new students, as well as grants as large as £40,000 a year to postgraduates in order to entice students back into the sector and reverse the ‘brain drain’ of graduates heading abroad for better wages.
“The UK is not graduating enough engineers. There are about 50,000 engineering vacancies and only 20,000 engineering graduates each year,” Dyson told the BBC’s Today programme.
This figure is set to grow, with a deficit of 200,000 engineers in the UK expected in the next five years.
The British economy will benefit from tuition free engineering degrees in the long-term through improved exports and technological innovations, which will bring jobs into the country, according to Sir James.
“Our future prosperity and wealth depends on being able to export technology products, and if we haven’t got the engineers and scientists to create them, we will stop exporting and we will become a Third World nation,” he added.
Dyson released figures showing a 30% growth in profits in 2011 and is planning on recruiting 300 employees this year – half of whom will be engineering graduates. Starting salaries will be £27,000 with a £3,000 joining bonus.
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