Letter: Student work plan is unfair

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Government's latest plan to give concessions to 1997/98 students who take a year off before going to university, provided they do three months' voluntary work, is missing the mark ("Free places plan to stem college rush", 11 August).

A number of degree courses make it conditional for students to complete a year in industry before beginning their course. This will make it impossible for them to complete the minimum period of voluntary work and will, therefore, penalise them.

Engineering is a wealth creator. It enables us all to live life with more ease and comfort. It is essential that these financial barriers are removed to attract the brightest into the profession.

RICHARD A PIKE

Director General, Institution of Mechanical Engineering

London SW1

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