Sir, I write with reference to the letter in Construction News (July 17), concerning the skills crisis and young people.
As someone who has been in the position of being an apprentice (many years ago), I know how stupid the system of qualifications at college level can be.
Yes, an apprenticeship is hard, but you have to tolerate long hours and bad wages when you are learning a trade at 16 or 17.
As a small contractor I can only say NVQs are not worth the paper they are printed on.
The only way we can address the skills crisis is to encourage small contractors and tradesmen to take on - and be rewarded by - recruiting young apprentices.
The expense and paperwork can be daunting, but you would not believe the number of times we are asked by both young and older people: 'Do we have vacancies for an apprentice?'
My advice to small tradesmen is to take the plunge - commit yourself. It's will be hard work, but it will be very rewarding.
Robert Hale John Hale and Co Plumbing & Tiling, York