McDonald’s is planning to launch a series of training schemes aimed at improving the basic skills of its employees who left school with few or no qualifications.
The move, which will form a central plank of the fast-food giant’s HR strategy next year, follows the publication of academic research which revealed that good training was one of the key reasons why McDonald’s staff enjoyed working at the company.
The Brighter Futures report, which questioned 475 people, including young McDonald’s staff, their working friends, parents/partners, managers and teachers, revealed that 90% of the workers had high levels of engagement.
Good training was consistently cited as a reason for this, by the staff themselves and their friends and parents, in the report conducted by Adrian Furnham, professor of psychology at University College London (UCL).
More than nine in 10 of the parents/partners studied believe the company works hard to develop its people, while 60% see their child/partner staying with McDonald’s long term to climb the career ladder. Almost all (96%) of the managers questioned said their training would be useful to other employers.
David Fairhurst, vice-president (people) at McDonald’s, said this focus on the value of training was something the company had to build on.
“One of the major aspects for us in the report is the focus on learning and development, with transferable skills being a particular issue for parents,” he told Personnel Today. “We have started conversations about what we can do for those who didn’t do well at school, broadening their skills base. Basic skills are very important.”
According to government statistics, 60% of 16- to 19-year-olds in the UK have literacy levels below level two – equivalent to four to five GCSEs at A-C level – and 80% have numeracy skills below level two. Research from the CBI indicates that almost half of UK employers are unhappy with the basic skills of job applicants.
The UCL research was commissioned by McDonald’s as part of its campaign to improve its employer brand. It was released last week to coincide with the launch of an advertising campaign on the iconic Piccadilly Circus screens (pictured). It focuses on the benefits of working at the company, with the slogan: ‘Not bad for a McJob’.