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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 March 2006, 23:09 GMT 00:09 UK
Ex-Rover staff 'face lower pay'
Rover car after the firm's closure last year
Rover workers have enjoyed differing fortunes since its collapse
A third of Rover workers are unemployed nearly a year after its collapse while many of those in work are paid much less than before, new research claims.

According to a Work Foundation survey for BBC Radio 4, many former Rover staff were forced to accept poorly paid jobs following the firm's closure.

On average, those in direct employment are now earning more than 3,500 less a year than they were with Rover.

But those now in self-employed jobs are earning more than before, it found.

Health impact

On average, those working for themselves now have an annual income nearly 5,950 higher than they did at Rover.

More than 6,000 workers lost their jobs when MG Rover ceased production last April.

According to the government-backed task force launched to help former workers, more than 4,000 of these have since found new jobs.

A small minority of these workers may join the ranks of the long-term unemployed or withdraw from the labour force permanently
Kathy Armstrong, Work Foundation

The government last month pledged an extra 2m in financial support to help about 1,800 people still looking for work.

But the Work Foundation - which spoke to 300 former Rover workers - said that many people had suffered a deterioration in their health since losing their jobs.

"A small minority of these workers may join the ranks of the long-term unemployed or withdraw from the labour force permanently," said Kathy Armstrong, author of the report.

"This continuing worklessness is likely to have long-lasting negative effects on the health and wellbeing of these workers."

'Ongoing support'

In addition, more than 45% of those now in work said their new jobs were worse than their previous employment.

The government had an ongoing responsibility to ex-Rover workers, Ms Armstrong stressed, including those in work.

"Continued investment is needed in supporting MG Rover's former workforce in their job search activity...and in upskilling those still unemployed or under-employed," she said.

Life After Rover is on BBC Radio 4 at 1130 BST, Monday, 27 March to Wednesday, 29 March 2006.

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