Peter Whitbread’s letter questions society’s over-reliance on academic success in preparing the construction workforce of tomorrow (14 September, page 34). I am pleased to say that, in fact, the choice of qualifications now available leaves young people better prepared than ever before.

From September 2008, nearly 4,000 students will be the first to take the construction and built environment diploma. A GCSE in construction is also being piloted in schools and colleges in England and Wales. If successful, it will be rolled out in 2008. In addition, a “young apprenticeship”, which commences at the age of 14, is already oversubscribed.

Nick Gooderson, head of standards and qualifications, ConstructionSkills