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ICE book is best seller

Letters

The Graduates & Students National Committee (GSNC) welcomes the publication by the ICE of the performance of consultants and contractors in supporting their graduates through the professional review (NCE last week).

In a bull market for staff the emphasis placed on professional development and achieving early chartership is a key factor for graduates when choosing between the many offers available. The view of 86% of the 'NCE 500' that it is important for civil engineers to become professionally qualified reinforces the importance of graduates receiving quality training.

The top employers highlighted by these results will no doubt be flushed with pride at their achievements, while those omitted will be asking their human resourses departments what has gone wrong. This can only serve to improve the standard of training provided across the industry.

However, these intial results are only a small part of the story. There are more factors for graduates to consider when selecting the company best able to train them than overall pass rate. The figures show that leading employers from the 10 to 50 applicants group have considerably higher pass rates than those in the 100 or more applicants group. With the pass rate for the professional reviews pushing 70-80%, the statistics imply that the performance of smaller companies not listed here must also be good.

For graduates to make an informed decision, they need to know other factors. These would include the number of graduates under training - split into technician professional review, incorporated professional review and the chartered professional review.

Also the percentage of these graduates that chose to take the review, time taken to pass, the average age of candidates, the number of graduates per supervising civil engineer and the number of days dedicated to continuing professional review. The percentage of those who fail and successfully resit within three years should be also be included. It is important that these figures are made available for a full list of employers.

GSNC congratulates the Institution on this excellent step forward in opening up the training debate, but urges further moves towards publishing full lists on an annual basis. That would really get things going!

Jim Bell, vice chairman, GSNC jimbell@t5. co. uk

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