People are an absolute priority at McDonald’s and fundamental to our successes.  Central to our vision and aspiration is our policy of providing career opportunities that allow all employees to develop to their full potential.McDonald’s has been on a journey to offer our people access to nationally recognised qualifications.  We have developed a ‘learning ladder’ that our people ascend while they work, this provides a clear progression plan and includes obtaining nationally recognised qualifications on their journey up the ladder. 

Work Inspiration

We have developed a work inspiration qualification to equip young people with transferable, practical work skills to help increase their employability.

  • Placement duration is 10 working days and includes interview practice at the start and finish.
  • Each student will then have the chance to gain a Level 2 BTEC in Work Skills by completing the remaining fifth of the module in their normal school environment.


Since January 2009, we have been providing our employees with the opportunity to gain an apprenticeship in hospitality.  Our apprentices work in our restaurants while studying for a nationally recognised qualification called the Intermediate Apprenticeship in Hospitality and Catering.  It includes sections in maths and English and ICT and is equivalent to five GCSEs grade A* - C.

  • The course takes a minimum of 12 months to complete and we have had almost 15,000 employees qain the qualification 
  • In November 2010, just 18 months after launching the initiaitve, we received the results of our first Ofsted inspection, Grade 2 (good) with several areas graded 1 (outstanding). 

Level 3 Diploma in Shift Management and Level 3 Award in Supervising Food Safety in Catering

McDonald’s obtained awarding body status in January 2008 and since then more than 6,500 Shift Managers have gained this qualification, which is an A-level equivalent.  In addition, more than 6,600 Level 3 Awards in supervising food safety in catering have been awarded.

Our Lounge

Our Lounge is our employee intranet launched in 2006, which delivers GCSE-equivalent maths and English to brush up basic skills or form part of our Apprenticeship programme. More than 18,000 employees have already gained maths & English qualifications.

Foundation Degree

In November 2010, we launched our Foundation Degree in Managing Business Operations for our restaurant managers.  We worked with Manchester Metropolitan University, to adapt our Management Development Programme, creating a Foundation Degree founded on both business need and academic rigour.  Up to 50 managers every year can undertake the Foundation Degree.