I write in response to your news story "Construction degrees extinct in 10 years, says shock report" (24 January, page 11).
The demise of student recruitment to construction programmes can be directly linked to the problems that the construction industry has with its public image. The media portrays the industry as having low technology and poor working conditions, and being limited in intellectual challenge and, at its worst, poor at providing customer value and satisfaction.

The majority of undergraduates attracted to our construction programmes come from a background where a family member or close friend is already employed in the industry. These students are not put off by the media hype, as they know that it is not what most of the industry is like.

The problem with this is that we need, as an industry, to break out of this incestuous pattern of recruitment. We need to attract more recruits into the industry from outside its current boundaries. I believe we can only do this effectively by addressing the fundamental issue of improving our perceived image to the general public.

This will encourage potential recruits from outside the industry to see us for what we undoubtedly are: an exciting, vibrant and worthwhile career prospect. This improvement in our public image can only be achieved at a national level with a concerted campaign by the Construction Industry Training Board or the Construction Industry Council.