People slipping through the cracks of the education system are being blamed for a high level of illiteracy in adults.
Surveys by the Book Council have found 40 percent of Kiwi adults can't read at a day-to-day functioning level, including understanding instruction manuals and bills.
Adult Literacy Auckland manager Pete Davis told Chris Lynch the organisation is having to cope with adults aged between 25 and about 60.
"And if you look at when they went to school, something has happened. Either they weren't in tune with school, or school just didn't work for them or some other thing happened."
The news is not a surprise to the Employers and Manufactuers Association.
CEO Kim Campbell told ZB that employers often have come across employees who have been good workers for many years, who are suddenly not up to the job because they're functionally illiterate.
"Typically we will invite them to do night school courses. Some jobs you just can't stay. If your in pharmaceuticals for instance, and aviation and so on, you just can't continue to work in those places unless you have a high level of of comprehension."
LISTEN TO PETE DAVIS TALK WITH CHRIS LYNCH ABOVE