I was sorry to read of Carillion’s decision to cancel its student sponsorship scheme (16 July, page 14)

Clearly the economic climate has taken its toll and, although I have no doubt Carillion’s management team won’t have taken its decision lightly, it serves to emphasise a general malaise in the industry’s attitude towards the next generation of property and construction professionals.

All employers seek the very best people in their teams, to ensure the very best for their business and clients. If student support is cut, whether in the form of bursaries or, potentially even more importantly, the opportunity to learn on the job through a work placement, we will not have the next generation coming through for our industry. Encouraging the development of highly skilled young professionals is critical to its future health.

At the Association of Women in Property, we are fortunate to work with organisations such as the Byrne Group and the Homes and Communities Agency who remain committed. The industry needs more like them.

Lynette Lackey, national chairman, Association of Women in Property