James Dyson has issued a call for more women and young girls to consider a career in engineering, on International Women in Engineering Day.

His comments came during a visit by the Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, to Dyson’s Malmesbury Campus.

The Secretary of State was given a look at Dyson’s research and development labs, and met Undergraduate Engineers from the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology to learn about the degree programme.

During the visit, Nadhim Zahawi met with female students from the Dyson Institute, and listened in to Dyson’s Women in Engineering Society event, led by Undergraduate Engineers. 41 per cent of first year undergraduate engineers at DIET identify as female.

Sir James Dyson, Founder of Dyson, said: “We need the brightest engineers in the world to solve the problems of our age and create the technologies of the future. We urgently need more engineers, and encouraging more women into engineering is a must. That starts in schools and continues through education, ultimately showing how fulfilling a life spent in engineering can be.

"At the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology in Malmesbury, 41 per cent of our first-year undergraduates are women. This is more than double the national average for engineering courses. This isn’t the result of some Government quota but it might be because we look for engineers who are curious about the world and want to solve real problems in a hands-on way. I hope International Women in Engineering Day inspires even more to follow in their footsteps and join us.”

Nadhim Zahawi said: “As a government we have set ourselves a clear ambition of this country being a science and tech superpower by 2030 which means more engineers. To do so means making sure more women can gain the skills they need to secure careers in engineering.

"It was great to visit Dyson’s Malmesbury campus and meet some of the brilliant women engineers who carry out research and development there. What they are doing is truly pioneering."

Mr Zahawi added: "I congratulate James Dyson on his efforts to get more women into engineering, especially through the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology where an impressive 41 per cent of first-year undergraduate engineers are women.”