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Daughter gets what she oughta


Your article on salaries and Andy James' letter (NCE 6 June) dovetail nicely with the recruitment crisis and my own experiences.

My daughter, aged 25, will shortly become a chartered accountant commanding a salary exceeding the average for engineers in their late 40s - greater than my own salary when I retired as an associate with a recently privatised consultancy.

The accountancy profession maintains the status of its members by accepting only the best applicants, providing top class training and controlling the number qualifying. This maximises demand, results in excellent salaries and conditions and, in turn, attracts the best applicants.

For decades our profession has failed to provide adequate training and rewards. But when this resulted in an excess of demand over supply its senior members wrung their hands in concern that salary rises could affect their competitiveness, and suggested that only by poaching from the Third World could the shortfall be made up.

The increases they are now forced to pay are welcome but they are too late to rectify the shortage of quality entrants.

RC Watts (M), 7 Pound Lane, Cholsey, Wallingford, OX10 9NR

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