Almost half of former MG Rover workers think their current job is worse than working for the car giant, it emerged today.

Of 300 ex-workers surveyed, 48 per cent said they would prefer to be back at the Longbridge plant, in Birmingham, a year on from its closure.

The research carried out for BBC Radio 4 found the predominantly low-skilled MG Rover workforce has been forced to take poorly paid jobs.

And those that have found new employment are worse off than they were at Rover by an average of £3,523 a year.

But a total of 40 per cent of those who have become self employed are working in a completely new role, and all say they are earn-ing more by an average of £5,941 a year, according to the survey carried out for the Life After Rover programme.

Kathy Armstrong, author of the report, said: "This study has tracked both the employment status of the workers and the take-up of Task Force initiatives as well as the impact the closure on the individual workers, their families and the local community.

"It is clear from our findings that the Govern-ment's response to this crisis will be ongoing.

"Continued investment is needed in supporting MG Rover's former workforce in their job search activity, in catering for likely increases in demand for local health services and in upskilling those still unemployed or underemployed."

The research also found a third of the ex-Rover staff still out of work and looking for a job. Ms Armstrong added: "A small minority may join the ranks of the long-term unemployed or withdraw from the labour force permanently.

"However, this continuing worklessness is likely to have long-lasting negative effects on the health and well-being of these workers."

MG Rover collapsed last April leaving its 6,000 employees out of work.

The full report is online at