Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion


The European Alliance for Apprenticeships is a multi-stakeholder initiative steered by the European Commission. The originator of the pledge is solely responsible for implementing the actions outlined in the pledge.

Types of organisation:Businesses
Author:McDonald’s Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiaries (“McDonalds”) as well as participating Franchisees
Country:Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Start Year:2018

Paula Coughlan, Chief People Strategy Officer (Public owner/signatory of the commitment)

Lauren Burke and Serge Thines (daily business contacts)

Area of action:Supply, Quality

In August 2018, McDonald’s Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiaries (“McDonald’s”), as well as participating franchisees, announced a global goal to reduce barriers to employment for two-million young people by 2025, through pre-employment job-readiness training, employment opportunities, and workplace development programmes, including apprenticeships. Through this initiative, McDonald’s aims to help young people to develop the core workplace skills they need to get a job and the job opportunities they need to kick-start their career and achieve their true potential – whether at McDonald’s or elsewhere.

As part of the goal, McDonald’s and participating Franchisees are committed to strengthening internal training, education and leadership development programmes that equip employees with the professional skills and education they need to pursue their careers ambitions. To support this continuous learning approach in Europe, McDonald’s and participating Franchisees have pledged to offer 43,000 apprenticeships by 2025 as one of the development opportunities that people can access. These apprenticeships will be offered in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland, with the aim of expanding apprenticeships to other countries in the future.

The apprenticeship schemes that McDonald’s and participating Franchisees offer combine workplace training and study, enabling people to gain practical work experience and new skills that will last a lifetime - all while earning money at the same time. In each country, we deliver locally relevant apprenticeship schemes with accredited training providers or schools.

This Pledge builds on McDonald’s extensive experience in offering internal training and externally recognized qualifications to people in Europe. Apprenticeships are one of the vocational training programmes we have been running for a number of years in Europe. For example, McDonald’s has been offering apprenticeships in Germany for 20 years.

Added value:

According to the International Labour Organization, almost one in four young people across the world (21.8 per cent) are not in employment, education or training, which can dramatically impact their skills development, earning capacity, long-term employability and wellbeing. As a major employer of young people, McDonald’s believes it has the potential and the scale to help bridge this opportunity gap.

By offering a range of different apprenticeship levels for crew to restaurant managers, McDonald’s can help young people transition from school to the workplace and go onto develop a career, regardless of previous experience or qualifications. This will benefit not just them, but their communities more broadly.

Many entry-level apprenticeships will be offered to young people who were out of education and had little to no previous work experience before joining McDonald’s. As long as individuals have a good attitude and are keen to develop new skills, we believe in giving these young people an opportunity to succeed.

Restaurant crew and managers, who want to further their education and qualifications while at McDonald’s, can access the advanced levels of apprenticeships we offer, such as the opportunity to gain a professional degree. This creates opportunities for employees to move into more senior roles or go onto do great things beyond McDonald’s.

McDonald’s sees first-hand how life-changing it can be when young people are given the right tools and support to pursue their ambitions. The McDonald’s Pledge includes a commitment to continuously improving our apprenticeship and training schemes by working with and listening to expert stakeholders. McDonald’s will partner with authorities to help shape the right local systems to enable vocational training that works for everyone.

McDonald’s also aims to show what large businesses like ours can do to give young people the opportunities they deserve and influence positive change at scale. That’s why we are joining the European Alliance for Apprenticeships to help promote and improve access to vocational training for young people.

  • Education providers (schools, universities, colleges, authorities, agencies)
  • European/national/regional authorities and governments
  • National job centres
  • Youth associations

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