Jaguar Land Rover 24-hour working 'cuts wait for cars'

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Media captionJaguar Land Rover's Richard Else: "We took the right decisions"

Moving Jaguar Land Rover staff on Merseyside to 24-hour working will cut the time customers have to wait for new cars, the company said.

Staff clocked off from their first ever night shift at the plant in Halewood on Tuesday morning.

One thousand new jobs were created to support the new third shift at the plant, which has trebled its workforce in the past three years.

Operations director Richard Else said it would help them meet high demand.

The plant manufactures the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Freelander 2 models.

It exports more than 75% of its production to more than 170 markets worldwide.

So far, almost 90,000 Evoques have been sold and, although the UK remains the company's biggest single market, there is strong demand from China and other emerging markets.

'Great start'

Mr Else said: "Our new recruits have worked hard during their assessments and extensive induction training.

"Many have also worked a number of trial night shifts during July, to ensure we get off to a great start.

Image caption The Merseyside site now has 4,500 employees

"Moving production to three shifts and working 24 hours a day will allow us to significantly reduce the time a customer has to wait for their new Range Rover Evoque."

Jaguar Land Rover received more than 30,000 applications for the 1,000 new jobs when they were advertised earlier this year.

The site now has 4,500 employees and the size of the workforce is now the highest it has been for 20 years.

All the new production operators will also now receive up to a year of training which will lead to an Intermediate (NVQ Level 2) Apprenticeship.

One of the new recruits, 19-year-old Connor Hall from Skelmersdale, said his new job had opened a lot of doors for him.

He said: "I used to go to college where I studied mechanical engineering for three years, and I had a part time job in Asda.

"The training was brilliant, I was taken step-by-step through everything and I've never been lost with what I'm meant to do or anything.

"It's nice to see that there are jobs like that for young people it's not just for the older generation.

"It's just brilliant to get a job like this in this day and age. It's opened a world of doors for me, not just in the plant but for years to come."

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