Works and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan-Smith has proclaimed that our youth are being condemned to social benefits.

It’s the old eastern European craftsmen again. Every two to three years, a politician of some character appears on the scene urging company bosses to cultivate the boy who yesterday could not spell, write or add up.

His rhetoric is based on the premise that in every human spirit there is imagination, sensibility, creative power and genius which, according to circumstances, may either be developed in this world, or shrouded in dullness until another state of being.

Sadly, this may not be the case in Blackburn with Darwen.

The bosses pretend it’s the responsibility of the colleges to provide them with artisans fit for the purpose, whilst the youth appear indifferent, devoid of knowledge and/or direction.

It could be argued there was something inherently conservative about Duncan-Smith’s appeal, but he was diagnosing a sickness in the entire urban social fabric, and not just its lower tier.

Francis Apaloo, Blackburn.