Employment outcomes and plant closure in a post-industrial city: an analysis of the labour market studies of MG Rover workers three years on

David Bailey, Caroline Chapain, Alex de Ruyter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper examines how the loss of 6300 jobs from the closure of MG Rover
(MGR) in the city of Birmingham (UK) in April 2005 affected the employment trajectories of ex-workers, in the context of wider structural change and efforts at urban renewal. The paper presents an analysis of a longitudinal survey of 300 ex-MGR workers, and examines to what extent the state of local labour markets and workers’ geographical mobility—as well as the effectiveness of the immediate policy response and longer-term local economic strategies—may have helped to balance the impacts of personal attributes associated with workers’ employability and their reabsorption into the labour markets. It is found that the relative buoyancy of the local economy, the success of longer-run efforts at diversification and a strong policy response and retraining initiative helped many disadvantaged workers to find new jobs in the medium term. However, the paper also highlights the unequal employment outcomes and trajectories that many lesser-skilled workers faced. It explores the policy issues arising from such closures and their aftermath, such as the need to
co-ordinate responses, to retain institutional capacity, to offer high-quality training and education resources to workers and, where possible, to slow down such closure processes to enable skills to be retained and reused within the local economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1595-1612
Number of pages82
JournalUrban Studies
Volume49
Issue number7
Early online date8 Aug 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

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plant closure
labor market
local economy
worker
trajectory
urban renewal
education and training
structural change
buoyancy
retraining
skilled worker
employability
resource
economics
diversification
market study
policy
city
analysis
resources

Cite this

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abstract = "This paper examines how the loss of 6300 jobs from the closure of MG Rover(MGR) in the city of Birmingham (UK) in April 2005 affected the employment trajectories of ex-workers, in the context of wider structural change and efforts at urban renewal. The paper presents an analysis of a longitudinal survey of 300 ex-MGR workers, and examines to what extent the state of local labour markets and workers’ geographical mobility—as well as the effectiveness of the immediate policy response and longer-term local economic strategies—may have helped to balance the impacts of personal attributes associated with workers’ employability and their reabsorption into the labour markets. It is found that the relative buoyancy of the local economy, the success of longer-run efforts at diversification and a strong policy response and retraining initiative helped many disadvantaged workers to find new jobs in the medium term. However, the paper also highlights the unequal employment outcomes and trajectories that many lesser-skilled workers faced. It explores the policy issues arising from such closures and their aftermath, such as the need toco-ordinate responses, to retain institutional capacity, to offer high-quality training and education resources to workers and, where possible, to slow down such closure processes to enable skills to be retained and reused within the local economy.",
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Employment outcomes and plant closure in a post-industrial city : an analysis of the labour market studies of MG Rover workers three years on. / Bailey, David; Chapain, Caroline; de Ruyter, Alex.

In: Urban Studies, Vol. 49, No. 7, 05.2012, p. 1595-1612.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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