Sir James Dyson expresses concern about UK visa system

06 Feb 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Sir James Dyson has suggested that he make take himself and his business elsewhere due to the UK visa system and its approach to highly skilled engineers.

The inventor of the iconic vacuum cleaner brand wrote in the Financial Times that the government needs to work hard to solve the problems in terms of accessing the skills needed to develop niche sectors such as engineering.

He wrote: “The reason these engineers go home is because we do everything we can to make them unwelcome. They must find work within a few weeks of completing their studies, or we revoke their visas.

“If they do find work, we permit them only a fixed-term contract. Their employers, too, face high fees and an avalanche of paperwork. These are the world’s most promising engineers. We ought to be encouraging them to stay, not waving them goodbye.”

He added that the solution to the skills shortage is for politicians to change their approach to immigration. Without decisive action, he warned: “We and others will be forced to leave for countries where engineers are made – and made welcome.”

The attack focused on issues with overseas students who train in the UK and are then forced to leave due to UK visa access problems, meaning that the country is losing out on a new group of talented employees.

According to the inventor, over 60,000 vacancies will be unfilled in 2014 due to a combination of foreign students who are unable to stay or who do not want to stay after their training, and a lack of British-born engineers.