Reading Professor Jackman's comments on education in your July 31 edition, one can only assume that he is no more in touch with reality in his new post than he was at the FSA.
You can have all the degree courses you like but youngsters are not going to bother to sign up for them unless they have an idea that the resulting job will be remunerative and worthwhile. If you are going to have financial skills, why not just go into investment banking with a starting salary of at least £30,000?
You only have to look at the CVs of fund managers to note that many never qualified in anything to do with fund management or financial services. Some of the best have backgrounds in engineering, classics, history and geography. Investment banks do not often look for job-specific qualifications but rely on on-the-job training and the innate intelligence of their candidates which, presumably, a good degree demonstrates.
Moreover, there is an undeniable ageism in providing financial advice. The most worthwhile clients (those with money) often prefer to deal with individuals with a little “snow on their roof” and who can demonstrate that they have practised what they preach. But that is a different problem.
Once it can be seen that worthwhile remuneration can be derived, intelligent youngsters with good (as opposed to dumbed-down) qualifications may be prepared to consider this business. However, I am afraid that, before that happens, Mr Jackman will have to go back to his old office to persuade them to eschew the command economy principles that their masters are handing down and free us from the constraints of imposed artificial margins and the dead and heavy hand of over-regulation.
Harry Katz Norwest Consultants, Stanmore, Middlesex