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I have just read the article 'Skills crisis fears for geotechnics'(Ground Engineering April 2001) and, coming on top of a similar themed editorial in the Bulletin of the AGS [The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists], thought that at last salary rates and consultancy fees in geotechnics will begin to match those of other professionals.

Then in the same issue I found advertisements for geotechnical engineers offering £14,000 and £15,000 per annum (one year's experience), contract geotechnical engineers £10 per hour and senior geotechnical engineers hovering round the £28,000 mark.

No wonder I advised my children to go into accountancy and computing.

Six months and 18 months after graduation, they are already reaping benefits significantly better than our profession can offer after years of experience and in a few years are likely to have salaries I can only dream of.

KS Walton Stodday, Lancaster

If there is a skills shortage to accomplish the outstanding workload (Skills crisis fears for geotechnics, Ground Engineering April 2001), why is it that consultants and others are pushing so hard for work to do?

JE Gray Bedworth, Warwicks

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