Reading your article on apprenticeships (20 June, page 20) brought back memories of my introduction to the industry as a would-be apprentice carpenter in 1972.

I turned up on my first day as arranged, although it came as a surprise to YJ Lovell staff as they claimed not to have heard of me. Eventually someone “got lumbered” with me. I was driven to a large site in Guildford, then spent the next two hours with the foreman being introduced to “tradesmen” whose response was “fuck off, I am not having a fucking useless apprentice with me”. I was advised to take my “useless fucking arse somewhere else, preferably another industry.”

Despite this unpromising start I persevered and suffered more abuse, lumps of wood thrown at me and tools stolen. I eventually became a surveyor! Hopefully some of these experiences have changed, although reading the article, I’m not so sure.