The article by Amanda Levete in Building (19 November, page 26) kindled a few memories. She poses the question: “Higher education is going to become increasingly inaccessible, so why don’t we create ways of training architects on the job?”

Those of my generation wishing to enter one of the professions, be it surveying, accountancy, architecture or law, usually left full time education at the age of 16, with the necessary O-levels, to take up a position with an employer with the object of training to become qualified in the chosen profession; in my case as a trainee quantity surveyor.

We were either given a day off per week to attend an appropriate course of study at a technical college, or expected to undertake a distance learning course.

In the case of the RICS by the time we were 21 or 22, we were qualified and debt free. Employers who took on applicants with ARICS after their name knew they had the real deal, unlike today where a degree in quantity surveying is very much a lottery.

Roger Knowles