The Land Rover factory in Halewood, near Liverpool started three-shift, 24-hour working yesterday for the first time in its 50-year history.

With demand for the new Evoque continuing to outstrip supply, Land Rover has trebled its Halewood workforce in just three years. The Evoque has taken 88,000 orders since its launch a year ago, although, not all of those orders have yet been fulfilled - hence the current expansion.

Des Thurlby, HR Director at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said: "With 4,500 employees, JLR Halewood has trebled its workforce in just three years – and the size of the workforce is now the highest it has been for 20 years. As well as creating new jobs, our on-going global success means we continue to have a positive economic impact in the North West and throughout the UK supply chain."

All of JLR's new Production Operators will also now receive up to a year of training which will lead to an Intermediate (NVQ Level 2) Apprenticeship. "We received more than 30,000 applications for these 1000 new roles and we are very fortunate that we were able to select such high calibre people for our new jobs", added Thurlby.

JLR now exports 75% of its production and accounts for 20% of all UK exports to China. In a bleak economic landscape, it is a rare beacon of light.