Letter: Greedy bastards

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I see that Ruth Lea is still trotting out the same old myth of market forces applying in the jobs market (Right of Reply, 17 September).

We hear continual bleating from the "fat cats" about lack of designers and engineers, yet industry steadfastly refuses to stimulate the market for such people by paying them what they deserve. I have children at sixth- form and university. I know that they and their friends are very much affected in their career choices by ultimate pay prospects.

Years of shortages of physics, chemistry and maths teachers have resulted in no extra pay to "solve the problem". Nurses continue to get a lower percentage rise than doctors, despite the shortages.

Yet, when it comes to the company directors, to whom this mythical market applies, I see those who fail in one appointment being rapidly snapped up into another high- profile, high-pay directorship. Truly worthwhile company directors who really know what is going on in their business from the shopfloor up are incredibly rare. The market is emphatically not ensuring that there are enough of them.

How does an intelligent young person with ambition break into this heady realm? By wearing the right suits, saying the right things and most of all coming from the right background - knowledge of technology and life seems to count for very little.


Weston-super-Mare, Somerset