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Inventor Sir James Dyson sets up institute to tackle skills gap

Inventor Sir James Dyson sets up institute to tackle skills gap

Published: 14/11/2016

Inventor Sir James Dyson has announced he will open his own institute to train engineers, in order to "tackle head-on the dearth of skilled engineers in the UK". The Dyson Institute of Technology is due to open in autumn 2017 with an initial intake of 25 students.  The £15m Institute will be based at Dyson's campus in Malmesbury in Wiltshire and will offer a four-year engineering degree in partnership with the University of Warwick.

Sir James told BBC News he has been complaining to ministers for many years about skills shortages in engineering and decided to set up his own institute when challenged to by Universities Minister Jo Johnson. 

He said: "We are taking matters into our own hands," and added that he wants the Institute to develop into a fully-fledged Dyson University, with its own degree-awarding powers. Students will be paid a salary while studying and will not pay tuition fees. Sir James explained that a key benefit will be that students will be working on actual projects, alongside mentors and research staff, and will be able to see these projects through from production to shop floor. "The new degree course offers academic theory, a real-world job and salary and access to experts in their field," he said. The inventor added that there has been a lack of understanding of the intensity of the international competition and that the UK needs another one million engineers with skills in software, hardware and electronics by 2020.

Jo Johnson, Universities Minister, said in his blog: “Few organisations embody the spirit of great British invention quite like Dyson. The new Dyson Institute of Technology will help us tackle the chronic shortages of engineers that have long held us back as an economy. It will contribute to the re-tooling and upgrading of our skills base at the heart of this government’s industrial strategy.”

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