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Dyson plans to add more than 2,000 jobs in Southeast Asia

James Dyson's son Jake Dyson, chief engineer at Dyson presents the company's new model of vacuum cleaner in Paris on March 6, 2018. (PHOTO: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images)

By Yoolim Lee

(Bloomberg) -- Appliance maker Dyson Ltd. is hiring more than 2,000 people across Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines over the next four years, following its decision to relocate its head office to Southeast Asia.

The recruitment plan includes engineers, as well as employees working on production, design and operations, Jon-Paul Pritchard, Dyson’s global head of talent acquisition, said on the sidelines of the Milken Institute Asia Summit in Singapore on Friday.

“We’re investing in local populations as much as possible,” Pritchard said during a panel session on “Jobs of the Future” at the event. “We’re going to spend a lot of effort in retraining.”

The company, which is best known for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, was founded by engineer James Dyson. The company employs close to 6,000 engineers and scientists, spread across Asia and its U.K. campus.

Dyson has mushroomed in recent years, driven by its growing customer base in Asia. It has expanded into air purifiers and hair-care products, and embarked on a costly project to build an electric car by 2021. “We are growing, expanding and building the car here,” Pritchard said of Singapore, where the firm plans to add hundreds of jobs.

As technologies advance, Dyson is also looking beyond the usual qualifications as soft skills are increasingly becoming important in a new world, Pritchard said during the panel session. “We look for things like resilience, learning agility and adaptability in individuals rather than necessarily nuts and bolts of hard skills,” he said.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.