VAUXHALL is planning to take on more than 500 people at its UK manufacturing plants.
Three hundred of the jobs will be at the companys factory in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire where Astra is built while 250 posts are being created at the companys van facility in Luton, Bedfordshire.
The recruitment drive is Vauxhalls first significant new-hire programme in more than a decade, and is being introduced in line with the companys business development goals.
The Ellesmere Port plant currently employs 1,600 people and operates on two shift patterns but as sales volumes build, more workers will be required to meet increased output targets.
Production of the new Astra is to begin at the factory towards the end of 2015.
A total of 1,200 people are currently employed at the Luton plant, where the recently-launched all-new Vivaro van is built, and the extra staff there will cover a proposed second shift again, to increase output.
Tim Tozer, Vauxhalls chairman and managing director, hailed the announcement as fantastic news for Vauxhall and the British manufacturing industry as a whole.
He added: Both our UK manufacturing plants have won long contracts with all-new product and as the business strengthens, we need to take on more people to build these exciting new Vauxhalls.
The new jobs are to be phased in next year.
by: Danielle Bagnall