Innovation in the UK - James Dyson

BBC NEWS | Business | Engineering the difference - Excerpts from James Dyson's 2004 Richard Dimbleby Lecture.

Back to the subject of getting a job in the UK. As many others have noted, much of the UK's manufacturing industry has been declining over recent years. This is very apparent in the area I studied as an undergraduate - electronics, and in the industry that I've been in for the last 10 years - telecommunications.

Companies are migrating to a more vertical model, with each focusing on their core expertise, outsourcing elements that they perceive have low value add. In telecoms, this started with of-the-shelf microprocessors, then printed circuit board layout, then design, etc. These days whole cards, or even whole products are designed offshore where lower cost labour, and economies of scale can be used to reduce the cost of getting a product to market.

This trend has resulted in fewer engineering jobs in the UK, which isn't an issue in itself, until you consider what is left to drive the economy in the UK. If we're not selling raw materials, or taking raw materials and creating higher value products, then how are we generating revenue? A nation of shopkeepers is no good if everyone is a shopkeeper.

We need to start putting the innovation back into the UK. This was explained much more eloquently by James Dyson at the recent Richard Dimbleby lecture. A full transcript is available from the BBC. I, for one will be looking for a job in an innovative, UK based start-up or early stage company.