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We need far more apprenticeships

LETTERS

Sir, I am deeply concerned about what is happening with regard to the training of our future tradesmen in the construction industry.

We are a medium-sized carpentry company that has been registered with the CITB since the 1980s and has been training carpenters since then - many of whom are still with us today.

This year we decided to take on four new apprentices. Since May I have received over 25 letters and CVs and many phone calls from young men wishing to train as carpenters.

Over the past week I have gone through the letters - with a view to interviewing next week - and am finding it quite upsetting.

For quite a few of them this is their second year of applying as they had no luck in finding a company to take them on last year. Every letter and CV I have received is amazing - some have even sent pictures of items they have made. The ones I have spoken to on the phone have been trying desperately for months to find a placement but have had not one single response.

Unfortunately, as much as we would like to take them all on, we are only in a position to take on a few.

What is happening in this country? Where have all the places for training gone?

We have won the Olymp ics , but the sad reality is most of the work is going to be carried out by foreign tradesmen, as we most certainly will not have enough home-grown workers to finish these projects.

Someone should look at this issue as a matter of urgency before it is too late.

Frances Watkins RW Carpenters South Benfleet Essex