While not questioning the veracity of Leeds University's findings about the damage that paid work can inflict on academic achievement ("High-fliers are more fun", February 6), I would ask a different question. Which graduate would an employer rather take on: one with a first-class degree or one with a 2:1 and valuable skills developed through relevant work experience? In a competitive job market, any advantage students can gain will reap rewards. Research by Graduate Prospects ( What Do Graduates Do? 2004 ) found that 16 per cent of graduates in work six months after graduation returned to a previous employer where work experience had been undertaken.
Director, National Council for Work Experience