Last week’s poll: is the Dyson institute a breath of fresh air?

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Last week we reported on James Dyson’s plans to open his own institute to train engineers at Dyson HQ in Wiltshire.

Set to open in 2017, the Dyson Institute of Technology will operate in partnership with Warwick University and offer engineering degrees to 25 students a year.

For the vast majority of respondents to our poll (63 per cent), the initiative was seen as a welcome move that demonstrates how industry can be more proactive in tackling skills shortages.

Just under a fifth (18 per cent) were less impressed, agreeing that many large firms already run such initiatives, whilst 14 per cent thought that Dyson’s students could miss out on the advantages of a broader education.

The remaining five per cent could not find a fit with the options presented in the poll.

Reaction round-up

David Pring: The company I work for takes on two apprentices every year and trains them up to degree level, while offering them practical engineering experience and a salary. This is the way forward, so we need more companies to invest in apprentice training. Graduating from University with no practical experience and a huge debt is not the way to go.

MC: About time too, and a return to the days when companies took responsibility for training [and] not just leaving it just to the government. Whether you like him or not, at least he is doing something. Good on you, James!

Mike Burrows: Thank God someone has had the gumption to take on the challenge of developing high quality Engineers in the UK, at last. Well done James Dyson! I trust and hope that your students do your business and our country proud in the years to come.

Tim Mitchell: This seems very similar to a “degree apprenticeship”.

Michael Kenward: The Dyson PR machine Hoovers up yet more media acreage. Not bad for someone who isn’t an engineer. (But who sure knows how to harness the skills of engineers.) It may be nothing new, many engineering businesses have similar schemes, but if it grabs the attention of those who are impressed by a starry name, fine.