Introduction / background



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Introduction / background

  • Introduction / background

  • The MG Rover research project

  • Surveys of workers and the spatial impact of plant closure

  • Overview of workers in 2008-2009

  • Training and policy support

  • Different pathways, different stories

  • Conclusions and policy recommendations





One third of jobs in Birmingham in 1960s/1970s estimated to be auto related

  • One third of jobs in Birmingham in 1960s/1970s estimated to be auto related

  • But high profile plant closures through 1970s and 1980s, most recent Jaguar (Coventry), MG Rover (Birmingham), Peugeot (Coventry), LDV (Birmingham), plus in related industries

  • Next: another Jaguar Land Rover plant by 2015 ?

  • BUT still an important industry in terms of supply chain and R&D



City Centre redevelopment projects – tourism, finance, law, business services...

  • City Centre redevelopment projects – tourism, finance, law, business services...

  • But ongoing net loss of jobs (Centre for Cities, 2010)

  • Auto industry: modernise, diversify away from auto and major local manufacturer MG Rover

  • First ‘Rover Task Force’ – over 2000-2005: advance action ‘saved’ some 10,000-12,000 jobs



Entering and securing high-value market segments

  • Entering and securing high-value market segments

  • Cross-sector fertilisation

  • Repositioning within the global value chain



Closed in 2005, with the loss of 6300 jobs directly, c 3000 more in supply chain

  • Closed in 2005, with the loss of 6300 jobs directly, c 3000 more in supply chain

  • Major economic shock in city and region

  • MGR: turnover = as much as 1% regional GDP

  • £200 million in lost govenment revenue

  • Owed £1.4 bn to creditors; £104m to suppliers - received 1p in £

  • How was this dealt with, and what were the outcomes?



Government Package: c.£176 million

  • Government Package: c.£176 million

  • £50 million: training

  • £40 million: redundancy payments

  • £24 million: loan fund to help otherwise viable businesses

  • £41.6 million: support MG Rover suppliers sustain trading

  • EC: up to £68 million of regional aid could be used

  • RDA: £42 million on redeveloping the Longbridge site

  • RDA: June 2005: £7.5 million on supplier diversification



  • 170 component suppliers received cash through the wage replacement scheme;

  • This kept around 3000 workers in jobs during the critical months after collapse, with 1329 confirmed ‘saved’

  • Advantage Transition Fund: make loans to firms



Where are the ex-workers 3-4 years after the closure?

  • Where are the ex-workers 3-4 years after the closure?

  • Where the workers have found work and where they live?

  • How the workers have been affected by the closure and how they have coped?

  • What support they have had, how useful it was?

  • What work or education or training they have gone onto?

  • Where they have worked?

  • Whether they have experienced unemployment?

  • How they feel about their new jobs?

  • What has been the impact of the closure on their health?



‘Third wave’ survey of ex MG Rover workers in April 2008 based on two previous surveys from the Work Foundation. Follow up, in depth interviews in 2008/9.

  • ‘Third wave’ survey of ex MG Rover workers in April 2008 based on two previous surveys from the Work Foundation. Follow up, in depth interviews in 2008/9.

    • UNIQUE LONGITUDINAL ANALYSIS
  • Three Waves:

    • Wave 1: July 2005 (3 months after the closure)
    • Wave 2: December 2005 (8 months after the closure)
    • Wave 3: April 2008 (3 years after the closure)
  • In April 2008, 204 respondents participated in the survey -

  • 176 from Waves 1 and 2, 9 from Wave 1 and 19 new volunteers.



Our respondents were representative of the MG Rover workers

  • Our respondents were representative of the MG Rover workers

    • 90% male
    • Mostly in the 40’s and 50’s
    • 80% were married (compared with 42% in the West Midlands)
    • 93% were home owners (compared with 70% in the West Midlands)
    • Majority worked in Powertrain and Manufacturing
    • Variety of occupations with skilled, professional or technical occupations – only 11% had no qualification (compared with 18% for the West Midlands)
    • 98% worked full-time
    • Average salary in 2005: £514 a week compared with £444 for a man in the West Midlands.


In 2005, MG Rover workers

  • In 2005, MG Rover workers

  • 44% lived in Birmingham

  • 24% in the ‘Black country’

  • 12% in Bromsgrove

  • 3% in Solihull

  • 18% in the rest of the WM and England.



???

  • ???



Their overall activity rate (in work and looking for work) equaled 95% which is above the regional average (83%)

  • Their overall activity rate (in work and looking for work) equaled 95% which is above the regional average (83%)

  • 86% are on permanent contract

  • However

  • 65% of the employed and 85% of the unemployed stated having faced difficulty:

    • Too many people applying for the same job
    • Age
    • Lack of skills and experience


1/3 of workers in full-time job in 2008 reported having had at least another job before;

  • 1/3 of workers in full-time job in 2008 reported having had at least another job before;

  • This proportion rose to

    • 70% for those in unemployment;
    • 100% for those in part-time job;
    • 75% for those inactive and not looking for work.








54% increased their commute time to work

  • 54% increased their commute time to work



Over 60% of respondents have had some form of training since closure

  • Over 60% of respondents have had some form of training since closure

  • This is a higher figure than that reported in previous studies. Related to the specific and job-relevant nature of training and education taken up?

  • A majority of these retrained for ‘positive’ reasons…







Differential overall profile

  • Differential overall profile

    • Workers in full time job: male, younger, worked slightly less longer at MG Rover
    • Workers in self-employment: older, more qualified, in managerial position at MG Rover and owned their own home
    • Workers in part-time job: female, higher qualifications, worked longer at MG Rover and now work in services
    • Unemployed and looking for work: older, lower qualifications and did not own their own home
    • Inactive: close to retirement age, female, lower levels of education and own their own home.




90% of ex-workers were back in work 3 years on. Most in full-time job with permanent contract or self-employment.

  • 90% of ex-workers were back in work 3 years on. Most in full-time job with permanent contract or self-employment.

  • BUT; interviews in 2009 suggest some have lost jobs again

  • Difficulties in finding work: age, skills/experience and too many people applying.

  • Personal initiative and networks have been key to ex-workers finding their current job.

  • 60% use different skils to those used at MG Rover

  • Jobs are diversified with only 30% in manufacturing and a mix of lower and higher occupational status.

  • Different pathways back into work



Median salary / wage substantially lower than at MG Rover (minus £5640 adjusted)

  • Median salary / wage substantially lower than at MG Rover (minus £5640 adjusted)

  • A quarter of households in a financially difficult position, but three-quarters financially stable. Two-thirds feel worse off.

  • Overall, respondents perceive their current state of health as slightly worse than when working at MG Rover.

  • 45% see job as worse than at MG Rover but most still like job

  • Those travelling furthest to find work reported more positive ouctomes.

  • 60% undertook retraining or education; some difference in perceptions of health where people have done training

  • Families and connections have played a key role in terms of support.



Policy measures had varying degrees of success

  • Policy measures had varying degrees of success

  • Policy: Proactive and reactive policies required

  • Advance action and rapid response crucial

  • Need for institutional capacity (  Regional Task Forces)

  • Need to support good quality manufacturing jobs

  • Avoiding sudden closures and try to slow down the process

  • Ensure that employees have skills to cope as industries change, through high quality, flexible education, training, information and mobility programmes (ability to travel).

  • Tailored response



2008-2010: Regional Task Force

  • 2008-2010: Regional Task Force

  • Vulnerable places, businesses and people

  • Lessons learned from MG Rover experience

  • Abolition of the English regions:

  • Will this expertise / experience be lost?

  • Wider policy learning?





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