Letter: Unfilled jobs

Sir: There seemed to be two strands of thought in your article (14 January) on recruitment difficulties in the food industry: the unwillingness of talented young people to enter and the paucity of qualified and experienced managers.

I have noticed unwillingness among my children's peers to enter any industrial or manufacturing business. Their view is that potential employers offer no security in the long term in return for lower remuneration during training and, as a result, they are better advised to make their talents into high- paid/high-risk jobs in IT and finance.

Until manufacturing companies convince talented young people that they are reliable partners, why should entrants into the job market prefer them to consultancy firms offering more immediate cash and no less secure futures?

The shortage of experienced and qualified managers is a myth. The largest group of people in the UK is the post-war bulge group. These are between 45 and 50. How many vacancies do the appointments columns carry that reflect this reality? An older manager looking for a job is often rejected as "overqualified" when he is eminently suitable except that he is applying for a post similar to one that he did successfully 15-20 years ago.

A C WATSON

Woking,

Surrey

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