Despite drastic efforts to increase STEM education across the country, as well as a renewed interest in industrial design thanks to a new crop of product design startups in London, the number of skilled UK engineers is actually on the decline.
Enter James Dyson.
As the sole owner of Dyson Ltd, James Dyson is no stranger to taking matters into his own hands when it comes to problem-solving. Heck, it’s been said that he spends over $6 million per week to solve design and engineering problems in his R&D department alone.
To help curb this skills shortage, the British inventor is opening a new college to train engineers in the UK starting in the fall of 2017.
Called the Dyson Institute of Technology, the Wiltshire, England—based school will be housed at the company’s existing headquarters and will offer 25 seats to engineering students per year. Rather than paying to attend the school, Dyson will instead pay them $20,000 salary (as well as bonuses) while they work alongside Dyson’s design and engineering teams four days a week, while the fifth day will be spent in the classroom reflecting on their learnings.
“We are competing globally with Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore,” explained Dyson. “It’s all the major technology nations and we have got to be better than them. It is a problem in America and Europe and has started to become a problem in Japan. It seems that the fast-growing economies or emerging nations really recognize the value of engineering, but when you reach security there is less interest in what makes you successful.”
Although the program doesn’t involve tuition fees, they do require that potential candidates have at least an AAB at A Level or equivalent (340 UCAS points), including an A grade in both Mathematics and at least one other STEM-related subject.
“The Dyson Institute of Technology will not only offer students the chance to study on cutting-edge, degree-level programs, it will also play a vital role in educating the next generation of much-needed engineers,” added UK Universities Minister Jo Johnson.
While 25 students a year will hardly solve the entire country’s growing skills shortage, perhaps Dyson’s bold move is something that other companies—both in the UK and elsewhere—should start looking at more closely.
Find out more about the school or how to apply over at the Dyson Institute of Technology.