At McDonald’s, together with our franchisees, we are incredibly proud of our people. They’re at the heart of our business and are its representatives, day in, day out. It’s thanks to their talent and dedication – all 100,000 of them – that we achieve what we do.

McDonald’s employees come from a huge variety of backgrounds. We recruit based on qualities, not qualifications, and we know there’s no substitute for enthusiasm, a positive attitude, and a willingness to learn. In 2015, we launched our Backing Soft Skills campaign, to champion these critical interpersonal skills. Our campaign, supported by over 60 organisations, demonstrated the vital importance of soft skills to the UK economy and encouraged other employers to invest more in them.

We’re also proud to have a diverse workforce. McDonald’s welcomes young people, students, parents and mature workers. Whatever their background, we strive to give all our employees the chance to fulfil their ambitions at McDonald’s, whether it’s earning some extra money in the holidays, returning to the workplace after a break, or building a life-long career.

To do this, we invest heavily in industry-leading training and qualifications, ranging from English and maths qualifications to apprenticeships and Foundation Degrees. In total, we invest over £50 million per year in our training programmes. We are extremely proud that over 17,700 employees have completed an apprenticeship, equipping them with skills and qualifications that they can benefit from throughout their career – at McDonald’s or elsewhere.

As well as training, we also provide a comprehensive package of benefits and rewards, including: 28 days paid holiday per year, an employee discount card that offers discounts at over 1,600 UK retailers, a meal allowance, vouchers at service milestones, and an annual pay review.

We think our employees are our best ambassadors and we regularly ask them what they think about their jobs. We’re delighted to say that almost nine in ten of our employees and our franchisees' employees say they would recommend working at McDonald’s to a friend. For us, this is the best endorsement we could have.

To continue our commitment to our people, alongside our franchisees, we will :

  • Ensure that we continue to put our people at the centre of all that we do.
  • Continue to provide high-quality jobs in the communities we serve. Over the next few years, we will increase our staff numbers by at least 2,500 per year building on the 100,000 people already working in McDonald's restaurants, providing opportunities for people across the country to access the training and benefits that a job at McDonald’s offers.
  • Enrol 2,000 new recruits in our Level 2 apprenticeship programme in 2016, giving many young people the opportunity to learn whilst they earn, some of whom may have left school without any qualifications.
  • Launch a Level 3 progression apprenticeship, and a higher-level apprenticeship, in 2016 and 2017. Our ambition is to enrol between 3,000 and 5,000 of our people on Level 3 progression apprenticeships in 2016-17, which will provide even more development opportunities for our people, helping them gain new higher skills as they work.
  • Continue our industry-leading apprenticeship programme by providing 25,000 new apprenticeship places over the next five years – building on the 18,000 we have provided since 2009.
  • Continue to develop and increase access to and investment in our higher education programmes for our leaders of the future, resulting in 200-300 new qualifications per year from 2017 onwards.
  • Continue to champion soft skills and their value to our business and the UK economy as a whole, by leading a Soft Skills Working Group to drive forward the recommendations made in our Backing Soft Skills report.


At McDonald's UK we offer every single crew member in our restaurants the chance to undertake an apprenticeship - and more than 17,800 have completed one.

We asked one of our crew members, Mark O’Reilly, to tell us about his career with McDonald’s, from joining the Service Academy at his local Job Centre to being named McDonald’s Apprentice of the Year and receiving the prestigious James Caan Award for an Inspirational Young Person.

Getting the apprenticeship opportunity

Mark had been unemployed for nine months before signing up to the Service Academy where he was offered work experience with McDonald’s and shortly afterwards joined our Apprenticeship Programme.

He said: “After being unemployed for so long, I began to feel really low. Getting a place with the Service Academy was the turning point. It got me interacting with more people.

“Everyone was so positive and helpful and I learnt so much. When I was offered a full-time job I was over the moon!”

Inspiring other young people

Mark worked hard at his local restaurant and was quickly promoted to Shift Manager. To encourage other unemployed young people, Mark delivered presentations at his local Job Centre about the steps he took to build his career.

We thanked Mark for his dedication to encouraging and inspiring other young people by naming him McDonald’s Apprentice of the Year.

But his biggest ‘pinch me’ moment came when he was awarded the James Caan Award for an Inspirational Young Person at the Opening Doors Business Awards 2013. He was lucky enough to be presented with the award by then Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

Furthering his career at McDonald’s

Mark added: “McDonald’s gave me a brilliant opportunity and it was up to me to make the most of it. Two and a half years ago I was jobless – now I’m a Shift Manager at one of the biggest restaurant chains in the UK! Yes, it took hard work, passion and dedication, but without the support I received along the way, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

“I’m determined to push myself even further and in the future I want to become a Restaurant Manager. Who knows what else the future holds!”