Steve Wellard (Comment, 24 August) states that it is no longer sufficient to rely on 'accidental' recruits to the industry.

I was an 'accidental' recruit in January 1965 (6th form dropout), as were nearly all those I worked with at the time and many since. I have also been reading articles on the problems of recruiting talent to the industry since that date.

If the insurance industry wishes to attract 'first choice' job applicants it needs to consider the following:

Salary levels - look at the salaries advertised in Insurance Times and ask your own children if they are high enough to attract them.

Take qualifications seriously - most employers pay lip service too them. When was the last time an insurer or major broker insisted that all potential managers hold the ACII?

Stop dumbing down - this started with the idea of two-tier recruitment in the sixties:

A-level entrants to do the clever stuff and O-level (and lower) entrants to do the less clever.

The introduction of call centres, both at home and abroad, has continued this trend. Many 'underwriters' are merely box tickers - if there is not an appropriate box we cannot insure it.

It is interesting to read the article on the Top 25 Next Generation Insurers in the same issue - their career details are impressive but there is not a lot of 'sharp end' experience - perhaps that is not important any more?

Martin Powell