Your leader on the industry’s ability to meet government employment targets was not accurate (13 June, page 3).

The figure of 2,400 apprenticeships for 12,000 applicants is only a small portion of the number ConstructionSkills expects to have by the end of September.

In 2007 over 45,000 young people applied for apprenticeships with 8,500 placements resulting, but it should be noted that not all those who applied went on to take the selection test or to enrol as apprentices.

The target of an extra 13,500 apprentices by 2010 is ambitious, but it needs to be. Soon all young people will have to spend longer in education, which will increase demand for apprenticeships. After all, they enable young people to learn a trade and earn a good income, free of a student loan.

The government has to send a message to construction firms that they have a duty to employees. The fact that it is insisting all schedules of public work contain training clauses signals that things are changing. The industry also has a critical role. There is still a shortage of employers to meet the demand for apprenticeship places. The government has shown its hand, now the industry must demonstrate it is equal to the challenge.