May I compliment Eamon Quinn on his article about distressed homeloans and the merits of 'mortgage forgiveness' in the interests of our economic recovery (Business, 18 April).

The other night, a few of us unemployed people were talking. We had all finished second-level education about 10 years ago and went into construction for all the obvious reasons. We were unanimous that we did not now want work. Why? Because if we got work we'd have to start making mortgage repayments again – on houses/apartments which are in serious negative equity and which will probably never give us capital appreciation again. These houses/apartments are just millstones around our necks.

And another obvious problem came up. Now that we are unemployed, would it not be an ideal time for each of us to get a trade as an electrician, plumber, carpenter, bricklayer etc? Good idea – but none of the already qualified tradesmen are willing to take on apprentices.

One solution to our unemployment problem would be to utilise retired, qualified people to train apprentices in somewhere like Multyfarnham Agricultural College in Co Westmeath, presently empty. These apprentices could grow organic crops and food, not only for their own consumption but also for sale.

Surely it's time for community activism to kick in which would (1) help the unemployed, (2) promote self-sufficiency and the marketing of local produce, and (3) gradually reduce the number of unemployed.

James Scott,

Off Bellview Road,