Balancing act

September 20, 2002

We need people trained in some less fashionable disciplines rather than the free market Margaret Hodge proposes ("Union fury over PRP push", THES , September 13).

There is a national shortage of engineers, scientists, mathematicians and schoolteachers. But market forces mean there are thousands of psychologists.

Germany restricted course entry in the 1980s after over-qualified graduates flooded the market leading to a rise in unemployment and low-paid work.

The government needs to act to keep the supply of graduates balanced. "Market forces" means passing the buck.

Andrew Starr
University of Manchester

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