Your article about the alleged exploitation of architecture students is a warning to us all; it is not just their problem.

Basic economics tell us that what sets a price is the relationship between supply and demand, and it is the abundant supply of young people wanting to become architects that permit their salaries to be depressed to the point of needing "external sources of funding" (what a nasty piece of spin-speak that is).

However, because architects have historically led construction projects, their fees have tended to be the measure by which others are compared. It has been a brave engineer who dared ask for a higher fee than the architect. But it is a mistake to link the price of a commodity in surplus to one that suffers from scarcity. Whether or not the examples of exploitation are widespread, a low price for architectural services will distort the market. This means that it is time perhaps to decouple, in the minds of clients, the fees paid to other consultants from those paid to architects. Then perhaps a little more money will be available to lure good graduates back into engineering and construction.

Paul Kirby, London WC1