2,500 takers for McDonald’s A-level leads HR chief to dream of PhD

McDonald’s’ HR chief hopes the burger chain will “one day” offer a PhD in restaurant management to existing staff.

Courses equivalent to university degrees are also on David Fairhurst’s wish-list, it has emerged, after the firm attracted 2,500 staff to enroll for the in-house A-level course it began offering last year.

The chief people officer said a few hundred of those who signed up for the A-level were university graduates, attracted by the prospect of practical training.

Fairhurst added that some stores were seeing 30 applicants per new position advertised, but denied that the surge was primarily due to the recession.

He said the burger chain wanted to perfect its existing training offering, but, he told the Financial Times: “One day I’d love to see us doing a PhD.”

Fewer than 10 employers in the UK, including McDonald’s, Network Rail and Flybe, are currently entitled to award self-accredited A-levels to staff.

Earlier this year McDonald’s announced it will recruit up to 6,000 people a year through the government’s Local Employment Partnership (LEP) scheme, which helps long-term unemployed people get back to work, provided they pass a three-week trial.

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