In his letter, Andrew Charlett (31 January, page 33) calls for a campaign by the Construction Industry Training Board or the Construction Industry Council to address the industry's poor image among graduates.
I would agree that graduates need to be encouraged and reassured that they are entering a modern industry that offers leadership challenges and scope for development.

However, there must be substance behind the spin – real changes in the mindset of both academia and the industry.

The reality is that a large part of our industry still struggles with the poor working conditions, adversarial relationships, unsophisticated technology and the lack of customer focus that characterise the traditional perception of UK construction.

The industry think tank Be has a graduate board, of which I am chairman. This recently rebranded itself as G4C – short for "Generation for Collaboration". G4C was formed with the mission to "instill the spirit of collaboration within the new generation, creating a movement for change". It includes architects, engineers, QSs, project managers, PFI consultants, lawyers and marketing executives.

Our aim is to demonstrate to school leavers and undergraduates that there are fantastic opportunities to be had working in the built environment. Fundamentally, we believe this can be achieved by instilling a spirit of collaboration.

G4C is also keen to harness the talent that is sometimes hidden in the industry. One of our aims is to provide a conduit between graduate level and executive level professionals by feeding ideas generated from our graduate workshops directly up to the Be executive board. We believe this will help to thaw the permafrost between the top and bottom of our industry and uncover more role models for school leavers and undergraduates to see and hear about.

Your feature on Young Achievers shows just what can be achieved when bright young people are allowed to develop their skills in the right environment. The next generation of construction professionals must be instilled with the spirit of collaboration now if we are to change the construction mindset for good.