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Set for a flood of postgrad courses

LETTERS

May I add to your story 'ICE to investigate effect of skills shortage on flood work' (NCE 7 February).

The Environment Agency has asked the ICE to lead the review of skills requirements and shortages to form an independent and authoritative view across the whole flood defence industry. We expect this to include all flood management stakeholders so as to achieve ownership of the findings and recommendations.

In particular, while we believe the flood manager's job is stimulating, we want to look at compatibility of rewards with competitor sectors.

The Environment Agency believes that steps must be taken to nurture future generations of flood managers.

In parallel with the skills review, the Agency will take a lead in promoting a number of national postgraduate MSc and CPD courses with leading universities in flood management and key needs like catchment modelling.

These courses will enable the main employers to sponsor the 'supply chain' and sustain the unique skills and competencies that the industry needs.

While civil engineering will remain the principal line of entry to flood management, these postgraduate courses would be open to candidates with a range of first degrees to draw on the widest possible supply base.

Dr Mervyn Bramley, flood defence development manager, Environment Agency, Rio House, Waterside Drive, Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol BS 32 4UD

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