from Terry Knight, Knight Selection, Bury, Lancashire

Sir; Carl McMullen’s letter about the unemployment twilight zone that older people find themselves in struck a chord (The Grocer, March 27, p29).

I agree with his comments about recruitment consultants, even though I am one. Second, now I am old enough to receive polite enquiries from Saga, I can’t help but wonder if bright young personnel things see me as past it.

Recruitment agencies once had to be licensed by the Department of Employment, for which privilege we paid £114 a year. Our treatment of candidates and employers was subject to close scrutiny.

I still have an inspector’s report that followed a thorough investigation of our records to ensure all parties were kept informed in writing and treated with courtesy.

Things were a lot better then. Our relationship with clients was one of mutual trust, we often did business on a handshake - no kidding. We treated our candidates with courtesy and consideration and they put their friends in touch.

Then the licence was abolished and the recruitment industry climbed into the gutter along with estate agents and politicians.

I am pleased McMullen sorted himself out, and wish him well. The only thing I would like to say to anyone in the same position, and I’ve been there myself, is that there are still decent folk out there.

Don’t fall into the trap of tarring us all with the same brush, but ask your friends who they recommend - virtually all our candidates come to us that way, and one or two of them have even managed to get a job as a result.