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Girls plump for design but rewards too low

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The article on our open day for a group of local schoolgirls (AJ 8.3.01) does not reflect their final views. Although they were clearly concerned about low starting salaries and long working hours, a debriefing session at the end of the day showed that almost half of them would seriously consider architecture as a career option.

The opportunity to set up their own office seemed particularly attractive to a number of girls, and my comment that they would be poorer and work harder than their friends was made specifically in response to a question about the challenges of establishing a new practice.

Nevertheless, I am very concerned that architectural salaries (and fees) are not compatible with student debts of £25,000£30,000. Our best, most talented and valuable graduates are equipped with skills that are highly valued in other professions. I hear reports of young architects giving up poverty and door schedules to join the digital media world where the work is very highly paid and creative.

Jack Pringle, Pringle Brandon, London EC2A

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