A CONSTRUCTION expert has launched a campaign to attract young people into welding.Hundreds of new welders are needed to work on construction and engineering projects across the country.But despite Manchester being at the heart of a house building boom, welding lecturer Lee Wilde is warning growth could be threatened because too few youngsters are training for the job.Lee, who has 25 years' experience, manages a firm of welders. He says the industry has shed its grimy image and involves precision work using computers and robotics. But still, not enough trainees are coming forward to join the trade. "Half our welders are in their late 50s and will be retiring soon," said Lee, who is also a part-time lecturer at Tameside College."It is a highly-skilled job and rewarding, but not enough people are training. The days of welders working in dirty conditions are long gone. "The government has announced plans to create 10 new nuclear power stations. This will require miles upon miles of pipe lines to be put together to the highest standard. Who is going to do this, if we don't have the skills in this country?"Mr Wilde called for more school leavers, and girls in particular, to consider the industry as a career. Despite the decline of heavy industry, he says the craft remains in high demand, with experienced welders earning up to £40,000 a year.