James Dyson calls for British inventors to be supported as much as trendy ‘tech-preneurs’

The entrepreneur, famous for inventing the bagless Dyson vacuum cleaner, has urged the Government to do more to protect the future of manufacturing in Britain.

Dyson famously took 15 years and 5,126 prototypes before coming up with the bagless vacuum cleaner that made him a household name worth a reported £1.5BN and employing over 4,000 across 50 countries has urged graduates to take up engineering and warned that Britain will have a deficit of 60,000 engineering graduates this year.

He said ‘the glamour of web fads and video gaming’ has been pushed over ‘tangible technology that we can export’ and that many foreign students are studing in Britain, only to take their knowledge abroad.

‘The Government must do more to attract the brightest and best into engineering and science so that we can compete internationally,’ he said. ’26 per cent of engineering graduates do not go into engineering or technical professions.

Tangible technology represents a better investment than the so-called “Silicon roundabout” around London’s Old Street, which is home to various web and video games companies including Google and Sports Interactive, he said.

‘More worrying is that 85 per cent of all engineering and science postgraduates in our universities come from outside the UK,’ he told the Radio Times magazine.

‘Yet nine in 10 leave the UK after they finish their studies. British knowledge is simply taken abroad.

Engineering postgraduates should be tempted into continuing in research with competitive salaries of £30,000 rather than the “insulting” amounts currently on offer. A salary of £7,000 a year for postgraduate research is insulting.’ he said.

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.

‘We have committed £3 million to create up to 500 additional aeronautical engineers at Masters level over the next three years, co-funded with industry.’