Sir James is ploughing £15million over the next five years into the Dyson Institute of Technology as he looks to double his engineering workforce to 6,000 by 2020.
He told the Press Association that the private sector had a duty to help plug the engineering skills gap because the UK needed 10 times as many engineers as it did 10 years ago.
“We are competing globally with Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. It’s all the major technology nations and we have got to be better than them,” he said.
A dearth of skilled engineers is seen throughout developed economies, Sir James said, with Asian nations outstripping the west when it came to the number of new graduates in the field.
“[The shortage of engineers is] a problem in America and Europe and has started to become a problem in Japan.
“It seems that the fast growing economies or emerging nations really recognise the value of engineering, but when you reach security there is less interest in what makes you successful.”