Occupational barriers

August 23, 2002

That "Student, 46, wins place for medicine" is front-page news ( THES , August 16) reflects as much on the assumptions of professions about the source of their would-be practitioners as on ageism in universities.

Limiting entry routes to full-time courses creates a significant barrier for mature entrants and fails to grasp the opportunities created by changes in career patterns. It also maintains questionable barriers to progression between related occupations (for example, nurse to medical practitioner, architectural technician to architect).

One solution would be to establish common standards of training and post-training approval to practice, but support a variety of pathways through them including full-time, part-time and work-based.

Stan Lester
Stan Lester Developments
Taunton

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