The UK suffers from a large skills gap in the field of design and engineering. Every year the already dwindling pool of would-be engineers go abroad to study and work, finding higher quality courses, at a fraction of the cost. Dyson argues that the UK is “competing globally with Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. It’s all the major technology nations and [the UK has] got to be better than them”. Dyson has made a move to tackle the issue by opening a fully funded engineering institute. Students will receive an annual salary of up to £16,000 while they work and study alongside Dyson engineers.
Increasing the number of engineers in the UK is certainly a practical, straightforward step in the right direction, but if we truly want to solve the problems the world is facing in the engineering and design fields, becoming more creative is arguably a better approach. In our fast-paced, ever-changing world, design needs to be steeped into every aspect of culture and daily life in order for it to be meaningful, and unique. To focus solely on engineers is to miss an opportunity to shine. If Dyson truly wants to be ahead of the curve, and bridge the design gap in a significant way, why not create a campus where great minds from every industry can come together to first understand and then solve the issues of the day. Students of psychology, philosophy, art and literature, thought leaders and creative minds included. In other words: Dyson needs dreamers.