Billionaire Sir James Dyson who campaigned for Brexit on the grounds that it would “make us richer” has just announced he is creating hundreds of jobs – in Asia.
The entrepreneur condemned Remain campaign claims before the referendum that British exports would fall in the aftermath of a vote to quit the union as “absolute cobblers”, saying Britain would actually be £18.5 billion better off every year if voters back Brexit.
But following Dyson’s decision to move 500 jobs to Malaysia in 2002, the company has just invested £300 million in a new research and development centre – in Singapore.
Clearly struggling to put his money where his mouth is Sir James said that his firm’s products were still British engineered when he decided to move jobs out of Britain. But that is all about to change.
The “Technology Centre” in Singapore will give Dyson the capability to create a “24-hour research and development cycle” and is its first research and development site outside of the UK.
The investment will see 200 jobs been created at the centre to add to the 1,000 already employed in the region, all from a man who campaigned to make Britain rich again following a vote to leave the European Union.
A spokesperson for Dyson commented:
Dyson commented that the reason for the 2002 move was due to planning permission in the local area, which the company was refused. According to sources at the firm if Dyson had remained in Britain we would not be employing the number of people they are today – some 9,000 people around the world in 75 markets.
Dyson employs 3,500 engineers and scientists of which half are in Britain. It also employs 2,500 people in highly skilled jobs in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, with a plan to double its engineering numbers by 2021.
Dyson says there is a dearth of engineering skills in Britain, whereas there isn’t in Singapore.
But to combat the issue in Britain, James has set up a foundation – known as the James Dyson Foundation – to encourage more young people to go into engineering as a career. This was set up in 2002 and has invested £65 million since it was founded. It is heavily focused on Britain.
To further attempt to fill the engineering skills gap in Britain – Dyson has just announced the opening of the Dyson Institute of Technology. The students will not only earn a salary but their tuition towards the engineering degree will be free.
In September 2016 Dyson opened its new £250 million 56 acre Technology Campus in Wiltshire, England. The new facilities provide 129 laboratories for future product development, with over 200 live technology projects as well as 50 active research programmes with 40 universities around the world. The Campus employs 2,500 Dyson people, and will be home to the Dyson Institute of Technology when it opens in September 2017.
The ambition for the Tech Centre in Singapore is to allow Dyson to bring technology to market quicker, growing the company, and ultimately this will allow us to employ more people, globally.
Dyson is currently spending £7m a week on R&D this year.
Dyson employed 1,261 people in the UK last year and plan to employ many more this year.