Almost half of the people who lost their jobs when MG Rover collapsed or were made redundant among component suppliers have found new employment - many in skilled manufacturing jobs.
The success rate was described as " extremely pleasing" by David Cragg, regional director of the Learning and Skills Council.
About 7,500 employees were thrown out of work when MG Rover went out of business - 6,000 at Longbridge and 1,500 in supply chain companies across the Midlands.
Mr Cragg said it was astonishing that so few supply chain workers had been affected.
Initial estimates put the number of knock-on redundancies resulting from the Rover crisis at 10,000.
Mr Cragg added: "We are pinching ourselves at the moment, but it looks like only between 1,500 and 2,000 jobs in the supply chain have gone."
He said the smaller-thananticipated impact had been entirely due to efforts made to diversify West Midlands manufacturing companies, beginning in 2000 when MG Rover was sold by BMW.
A number of initiatives, including a £50 a week subsidy to help sacked workers travel to new workplaces, had helped former MG Rover workers to find new skilled employment, Mr Cragg said.
Consideration is being given to extending the subsidy payment from 20 weeks to six months. Companies prepared to take on former MG Rover employees are being offered a " two for one" option on reskilling - allowing the new employee and an existing worker to develop new skills on training courses.
Mr Cragg said: "We are optimistic that the flow of jobs will continue and we will be able to place further people from MG Rover into skilled manufacturing employment.
"The travel subsidy has been an enormous catalyst for the majority of the labour force."
Sue Battle, chief executive of the Birmingham and Solihull Chamber of Commerce, is warning against complacency.
She said: "The outcome of the collapse of MG Rover would have been hugely different if we had not made efforts to diversify over a fiveyear period. The speed of the response was key and we had a number of programmes up and running almost immediately after the company went out of business.
"We must not slacken off now.
"There is still a great need to continue to help suppliers look for new markets."