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Management skills can be learnt later

As a geologist working in consultancy and now for a major client I have read with interest the continuing debate about the quality of graduate engineers and the merits of SARTOR and would offer the following comments from an 'outsiders' perspective.

I find it hard to believe that firms are having difficulty finding graduates who are less commercially aware than those of twenty years ago, who were brought up with a greater emphasis on pure academia.

I consider the problem may lie with the firms themselves and their expectations of graduates. A graduate civil engineer should not need to have a great commercial awareness or knowledge of management methods on leaving university - these are skills which are quickly acquired in the professional environment. If they are not it is their employers who are to blame for not providing suitable training or experience. Surely firms would be happier in the knowledge their graduates have a strong technical background rather than spend time undertaking aspects of management training which are best taught later when personnel have specific experience of actual situations in the 'real world'.

Gavin Brind, 25 Stavordale Road, London N5 1NE

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