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Statistically correct

Charles Roberts questioned ICE's research highlighting that graduate grade members earned an average of £37,000 (NCE, last week).

I can reassure Mr Roberts that the 2006 salary survey conducted by the Institution is accurate and statistically robust with nearly 5,000 members responding. The definition of graduates were those progressing towards becoming professionally qualified engineers, not necessarily those graduates starting their first job in civil engineering.

As a result of feedback last year (NCE 20 September 2007) we have included an additional section in the 2007 survey, to look at recent graduate remuneration. We will be releasing the findings of that survey in the Spring and have segmented the graduate data into three categories to present more detail on new graduate salaries.

New graduate engineers' starting salaries are becoming more competitive with other professions and civil engineering leads the way with an average of £23,000 in 2007 according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters.

We used the salary survey data in the letter to The Times very carefully, to rebut a previous public assertion that the engineering profession was so badly paid that young people should not join it. We are very committed to promoting civil engineering as a great profession with extraordinarily exciting challenges and competitive salaries.

TOM FOULKES (F), director general, ICE, One Great George Street, Westminster, SW1P 3AA

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