The simple reason for falling applications to civil engineering courses is that salaries are unattractive. This is due to the reluctance of employers, particularly consultants, to increase rewards.
In view of this, I am afraid that I have little sympathy with Nicholas Bennett's arguments (NCE 9 May). The consultants are trying to defeat the laws of supply and demand by recruiting cheaper labour and the possible results of this policy should be of considerable concern to the Institution.
May I suggest that Bennett's members think the unthinkable.
If they offer proper salaries, more people would be attracted into the profession. Others, who work overseas because the salaries are better, might return home and qualified civil engineers who have left the profession may return.
RSC Stewart (F), 33 The Mowbrays, Framlingham, Suffolk IP13 9DL