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Real apprentices cost money

FErret's claim that Dudley College is using apprentices to carry out building work on the cheap ("Construction students really dig college build", 13 April) is completely mistaken. We required that contractors tendering for our new building employed apprentices, at extra cost - yes, training costs money - as part of our corporate social responsibility agenda. These are real apprenticeships in an employment sector under great pressure, and will enable the people concerned to more easily find future work in construction. I'm proud we are supporting apprenticeships. We will continue to do so.

John Freeman, Chair of the corporation, Dudley College, West Midlands.

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