The letter entitled "Incestuous recruitment" (31 January, page 33) caught my eye, as I graduated six months ago and am now in the industry full time.
The issue of recruitment is obviously still very much with me and I believe I can offer a perspective that your magazine has missed.

I read the first few lines of the letter and thought, I've heard all this before: poor image equals low recruitment. When I looked to see who the author was, lo and behold, it was a senior lecturer from my old university.

I accept that a poor image does not help recruitment, but, I ask Mr Charlett, where are the 30 students who started the construction management course at your university in 1998 and were not in the final year in 2002? I know; do you? Did you ask why they didn't stay?

Universities cannot blame the industry's poor image for the fact that, in this case, only 10 out of 40 students finished the course, not all of whom have even moved into the industry.

Mr Charlett's university is no different from many others. I have met many students from courses all over the country with tales of inappropriate course content, poor standards of teaching and a huge gulf between academic work and on-site experience. Something has to change.

Mr Charlett describes construction as an "exciting and vibrant" career prospect. If universities want to know why students are leaving, it is because exciting and vibrant are exactly what their courses are not.

I sat on the board as the student representative of my course and watched fingers being pointed at the industry for not enticing new recruits.

But the recruits were there on open days; I showed many of them around. If the industry can get them in the door, it is the universities' responsibility to keep them and send them out, trained, four years later.

The industry needs to tell universities what it wants, the universities have to provide it and together they might stand a chance of improving construction's image. But if the industry can attract recruits to relevant course then universities have a duty to nurture that attraction.