Spotlight on defence and Dyson

Jason Ford

News Editor

The live televised debates between the three leaders of Britain’s main political parties has left some questioning whether they have been an exercise in style over substance.

For this reason, the Monday Briefing would like to focus initially on Dyson, the company whose household products prove that style and substance can coexist.

The company announced today that it is to double its UK engineering team from 350 to 700 and that it will draw a portion of those new recruits from universities to work at its Wiltshire laboratories.

The company will be hiring graduate design engineers, mechanical engineers and acoustic engineers to work at the company where areas of expertise include microbiology, fluid, mechanical, electrical, electro magnetic compatibility, thermal, acoustic and software engineering.

In a company statement, James Dyson said: ‘It is vital that Dyson – and the UK – continues to invest in the nation’s engineering talent if we are to stay ahead.’

Back on the election trail and news that defence secretary Bob Ainsworth is to present Labour’s defence policy today.

So far, Labour has promised a Strategic Defence Review in the next Parliament and no cuts to the Defence Budget in 2010/11. The party further claims that core defence spending is 10 per cent higher in real terms than 1997.

Figures from A|D|S show that the UK defence industry has a 21 per cent market share of the world’s defence export market, employs 300,000 people and is worth around £35bn per year, with an additional £5bn per year on average coming from exports.

Still on the election trail and news that energy secretary Ed Miliband, shadow energy secretary Greg Clark, Lib Dem energy spokesman Simon Hughes and the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Lewisham Deptford, Darren Johnson, are to take part in climate change hustings.

Ask the Climate Question, organised by NGOs including Oxfam, WWF, Christian Aid and Greenpeace, will give participants the opportunity to ask the parties about their plans to create new green jobs, invest in clean and secure energy supplies for the UK, and protect vulnerable people in poor countries from the impacts of climate change.

Figures from the Environmental Industries Commission estimate the global market place for green technologies is worth $3tn and growing five per cent annually.

However, a report yesterday in The Sunday Times suggests the UK is not producing commercially viable green companies and that this can be attributed in part to a dependence on government funding and poor manangement in ’green tech’ businesses.