from Phil Hughes, sales manager, Northgate Foods

Sir; re Allan Townsend’s letter ‘Food Science Studies Need Our Support’ (July 17, p30).

Perhaps the reason that students are not attracted to food science/technology is that the subject as offered as a GCSE is one which my kids did their best to avoid as they found it, or perceived it to be, very dull.

The industry should consider targeting teenagers in its marketing campaigns to spark more interest in food.

For example, how many teenagers/young adults appear as guests on Ready Steady Cook, a programme that goes on air between 4pm and 6pm?

Answer - none! Get an appropriate media star involved in issues about quality food in a TV/internet/PC games format and you will have the attention of teenagers.

Townsend is right to be worried about ever more students graduating with hardly relevant degrees and struggling to get work. However, I think he is naive to believe that the government is capable of any joined-up thinking. The reason the PM wants 50% of school leavers in higher education is that it keeps them off the dole and saddles them with debt, thus ensuring that they go out and find any paid work they can get to pay off their loans.

Blair isn’t at all worried about the relevance of graduates’ degrees to their future or the nations. I’m sure he thinks he knows what he’s doing with education, but in case he needs some advice, please pass this report on to him.