Wiltshire set to be a Dyson centre of excellence
5:30am Saturday 25th January 2014 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
SWINDON could be set to benefit from the proposed £250m Dyson expansion, which will bring 3,000 jobs to the area and an array of routes into the engineering industry for the town’s students.
The plan will be the largest in the company’s 20-year history, and the jobs would be in the field of science and engineering.
Dyson has confirmed that, if approved, it would create a new technology campus in Malmesbury, which would include research and development laboratories split over four buildings in the town. The firm is famous for products such as its bagless vacuum cleaners and Airblade hand drier.
UTC Swindon is at the front of the queue of education providers and organisations in the town, waiting to speak with the technology firm about how their expansion can work for the wider area.
Chris Walton, project manager at the town’s new engineering college, said: “We are delighted by the prospect of more engineering jobs that will become available.
“One of our aims is to produce highly skilled engineers to move into industry, design, production, management and we are certain that we will be able to contribute to the local labour skill force.
“This is great news for engineering jobs in the future. We are the only engineering college locally and we certainly intend to contact them to see if we can understand the kind of skills and qualifications they need. “
This will be a huge bonus for our students.”
A spokesperson for Dyson would not outline any plans the firm has for where it will source the 3,000 engineers it requires or whether it will establish any links with colleges in Swindon.
Any moves to link up with education providers would be put into place with the James Dyson Foundation, which supports design and technology education already.
They said: “Apprenticeships are not something we currently do. We are committed to strengthening the links we already have with a number of schools.
“The foundation’s aim is to expand and increase the number of people taking design and engineering as a career.
“We can’t commit to saying this time next year we will be hoping x amount of pupils in Swindon will be working with us.
“We have gone beyond Malmes-bury already and established links with schools in Bath, which shows we are slowly reaching out.
“Dyson wants to make the South West a regional hub of excellence.”
Heydar Faramarzi, president of the Swindon Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to learn that a world-class business like Dyson with its international reputation for research and design will be recruiting up to 3,000 in engineering, research and design over the next 20 years.
“The plan to create a technology campus is good news for the Wiltshire economy.”
There is a skilled employment pool in Swindon which is constantly growing as people are attracted to moving to the area.
“This can only lead to further investment in the town and benefit the local economy.
“We understand the Dyson expansion will be developed in stages, and could even boost small local businesses, as it is likely that Dyson would give up a number of industrial units at a neighbouring business park, freeing them up for new firms.”