McDonald’s Sets Global Goal to Reduce Barriers to Employment for Two-Million Youth

McDonald's Restaurant


August 22, 2018 – Today, McDonald’s Corporation announced a new initiative called Youth Opportunity, with 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 programs. As part of this goal, McDonald’s is also joining the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), to help accelerate global efforts to tackle the youth employment challenge. 

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 has the potential and the scale to help bridge this opportunity gap.

In partnership with local community organizations and the International Youth Foundation (IYF), which has over two decades experience in youth development around the world, McDonald’s will offer a new pre-employment work-readiness and soft skills training program, designed to help young people develop the competencies employers are looking for in entry-level employees. McDonald’s is piloting this initiative in Chicago in 2018, before rolling it out to participating global markets from 2019 through locally-relevant programs and partners.

Through the Youth Opportunity initiative, McDonald’s and participating Franchisees will also continue to provide job opportunities that young people need to kick-start their career and to develop critical soft skills, such as teamwork, hospitality and decision making. Employees can go on to access training, education and development programs, including Hamburger University, which has prepared more than 360,000 students for leadership positions in the restaurant industry. 

In Canada: 

In Canada, we are tremendously proud to be one of the largest employers of young people in the country, with over 70 per cent of the workforce being people who are seeking their first or second job. Research shows that a job at McDonald's Canada provides youth with the relevant experience to build a solid foundation for their future careers. 

McDonald’s Canada, along with our franchisees, employ nearly 100,000 people in McDonald’s restaurants across Canada. We know that investing in our people helps them succeed and enables them to deliver the very best experience our guests deserve. And, it also puts them on a path to success. Along with our franchisees, we believe that investments in world-class training, education, flexible work schedules and scholarship programs are considered an essential part of the business, and integral to employee growth.

McDonald’s Canada is proud to partner with 26 different colleges and universities across the country to offer educational opportunities to restaurant managers interested in pursuing post-secondary education in business programs. These partnerships are unique to McDonald’s and offer managers cost-savings, and a meaningful head start toward completing their college education. McDonald’s Canada is looking to expand these partnerships to more institutions. 

And, we’re hiring year-round. Canadians can apply for crew, management and hospitality roles anytime.  These roles give Canadians the opportunity to kick-start their career, and cultivate skills for the future. Our recent National Hiring Day was the 10th one-day hiring blitz we’ve held across the country, which invited job-seekers to apply through on the spot interviews.  

To hear from our crew, in their own words about what they’ve learned working at McDonald’s click here. 
-    Stephanie Hardman, Chief People Officer, McDonald’s Canada

About Scale for Good
Youth Opportunity is the fifth McDonald’s commitment, launched between 2017 and 2018, dedicated to using the company’s Scale for Good. It follows bold pledges to drive beef sustainability, improve packaging and reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and offer more balanced choices and recommended food groups for Happy Meals. 

About partners

International Youth Foundation
International Youth Foundation (IYF) is a globally recognized NGO that has led and sustained coordinated action to harness the talent and potential of the world’s youth for more than 25 years. IYF has a long standing record of successfully working with corporations and organizations to prepare young people to succeed as citizens and employees.  

Decent Jobs for Youth 
Decent Jobs for Youth is the global initiative, led by the International Labour Organization, to tackle the issue of youth employment and to ensure that young people have access to decent work, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Launched in 2016, with endorsement from the executive heads of the United Nations, Decent Jobs for Youth brings together the resources and expertise of diverse partners to maximize the positive impact of investments in youth employment.

European Alliance for Apprenticeships 
The European Alliance for Apprenticeships is a platform which brings together governments with other key stakeholders, like businesses, social partners, vocational education and training (VET) providers, youth representatives and think tanks, under the common goal of strengthening the quality, supply and image of apprenticeships in Europe.

Related Stories