BMW's introduction of three-day weekend working offering a 30 percent pay premium over Monday to Thursday shifts has seen undergraduates and housewives queuing for place on the assembly line and in other parts of the Cowley plant, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The newspaper said that some students from Oxford colleges see the production line as a better paying proposition than bar work or other service jobs they can fit in at the weekend without interrupting studies.

And, the newspaper added, housewives are finding the Friday, Saturday and Sunday shifts, despite a 6am start, a good way to top up family income.

"We've got both students and housewives. They've been selected on merit and have had to go through the same training process as everyone else we've recruited," a BMW Mini factory spokesman told the Daily Telegraph.

The newspaper said that BMW has hired 1,200 workers for the three 11-hour weekend shifts after being swamped by applications. The offer of basic pay of £12.52 ($US17.79) an hour against a weekday rate of £9.56 ($US13.59) an hour for 39 hours has proved a magnet.

The introduction of around-the-clock seven-day-week working is pushing output up to a targeted annual rate of 125,000, the Daily Telegraph said. Weekend working has increased the total workforce to around 3,500.

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