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JUDGED ON ACCENT, NOT ABILITY

LETTERS

At secondary school I made it my ambition to become an architect. Since then I have studied hard to gain the education and qualifications that are needed to achieve my aim. I completed my RIBA Part One, and was excited by the prospect of working in the industry I have chosen as my profession.

The problem is that I have applied to hundreds of practices. All have been unwilling to give me at least an interview and some have even been bad mannered and rude. This is why I now have the opinion that the architectural industry is full of snobs, who judge me not on what I can do, but instead on my postcode, East End accent and my background.

Not everyone who grew up on a council estate wants to stand on street corners wearing a hood and causing trouble. Some of us want to make something of our lives. Many of the friends I grew up with have studied hard for different careers, and all are unemployed. So what are young people studying for?

My interviewers probably think I should be labouring on the building site rather than working in the design office.

I have not given up on architecture, instead I will try somewhere else. Maybe I will find somewhere where most architects are not incompetent snobs, like most of the ones I have come across.

Sean O'Driscoll, London E9

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