A manufacturing expert is warning New Zealand could be losing essential industry skills for good.
Four Opposition parties are holding a manufacturing inquiry amid claims of a crisis in the sector.
A senior lecturer in factory management at Otago University, Richard Greatbanks, says some skills are naturally lost as the economy progresses.
But Dr Greatbanks says the way manufacturing is going there is a real danger the demand for blue collar jobs like fitting and turning will drop so much that the practical knowledge will be lost entirely.
He says such crafts remain critical if New Zealand is to continue engineering but have been decreasing for decades.