Sir, I would like to reveal my son's experience with regard to the skills shortage in the trades.
He joined one of the top 10 construction companies as a bricklaying apprentice at age 16 and after three years he gained his NVQ 1, 2 & 3.
Throughout this time his employer released him onto sites to gain work experience.
On completion of the apprenticeship, his employer made him redundant, saying it did not need a directly employed bricklayer.
My son then grasped the nettle with both hands and prepared himself for a future of sub-contracting.
He gained a CIS4 tax certificate and badgered his former employer for his CSCS card - no easy task.
On site he was constantly ripped off, underpaid, left with no payment, or paid by cheque late on a Friday night.
Other common practices include being laid off at a moment's notice then asked to return to site at the drop of a hat 10 days later.
During the course of the past two months my son has sent his CV to 12 major construction companies which employ direct operatives and are all involved in large social housing partnerships preaching local labour initiatives. Guess what? Not one reply.
My son walked into the army careers centre and applied to join the Royal Engineers.
The future of the construction industry has just walked out of the door.
Name and address supplied