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Experience seems to count for nothing

LETTERS Prize letter

Sir, I agree totally with Anthony Manning-Coe ('Willing to work but not given a chance', Letters May 19).

I too am in my late 40s and a few years ago joined one of the UK's largest agencies following the closure of my boss's company.

The agency quickly found me temporary placements and in the meantime I fired off my CV to several top flight contractors, confident that with my several years' experience in project, contracts and general site management, it would not be too long before I was offered a job.

To my surprise not one contractor has contacted me to date. I can only imagine that, as Mr Manning-Coe suggests, age is a factor, and this despite our industry suffering a grave shortage of technical and competent managerial staff.

I suspect that many directors view people aged in their late 40s as unambitious, seeking only to go through the motions and mark time till their retirement.

I am now on my fourth temporary contract with the agency and have been first on site consistently and often the last to leave. Unlike the in-house management, I have never had a day off sick.

Being with the agency means I am paid at lower rates than my fellow managers, receive no holiday pay, health cover or car allowance, yet still do my utmost to ensure the main contractor completes on time and within budget, thereby guaranteeing its completion bonus. Of course, I don't receive any of this.

John J Irwin London