McDonald’s UK to double apprenticeship training opportunities in 2019


McDonald’s UK to double apprenticeship training opportunities in 2019


  • McDonald’s UK will provide more than £2million worth of apprenticeship opportunities in 2019 for new and current employees
  • 750 new programme spaces to be created
  • Industry-leading programme marks its 12th year with over 18,600 qualified apprentices to date.

One of the country’s largest employers, McDonald’s UK, has announced plans to provide more than £2million worth of opportunities to new and current employees, making use of the apprenticeship levy. The news comes following a pledge in summer 2018 that McDonald’s will employ 43,000 apprentices in Europe by 2025.  

Opportunities will continue to be available to both new joiners starting their careers, as well as those already on the career-ladder and looking to further develop through professional skills. 80% of McDonald’s apprentices are those already working for the organisation, aged from 16 to 58 years old.

The UK business has been providing apprenticeships for over 12 years, creating a range of opportunities from an entry-level crew apprenticeship to a business manager degree apprenticeship with Manchester Met University, culminating in a BA in business management.  In addition to Manchester Met University, McDonald’s works with a number of other providers including Lifetime Training, Babcock International and Arch – to ensure that apprentices receive specially developed learning programmes delivered by experts.

In addition to the structured learning, all apprentices are paid a ‘work-equivalent salary’ or respective hourly rate to the job they are doing, rather than the £3.80 an hour apprentice rate of pay.

Harriet Hounsell, Chief People Officer, McDonald’s UK, said: “We strongly believe in the combination of workplace training and studying with practical experience to help people progress and develop. Together with our franchisees, we’ve offered apprenticeships for more than 12 years, but what is key is ensuring that what we offer continues to evolve to suit the needs of our business, new recruits and our existing people; and that we reward them accordingly. 

“There can be a perception that apprentices are just for school-leavers, or for those working in technical roles – but there are many opportunities in retail and hospitality, and for all ages –our oldest apprentice is 58. I’d really encourage prospective and current employees to consider the options available to them to earn while they learn.”

Anne Milton, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister said: “I am thrilled to see such ambitious plans from McDonald’s. We’ve transformed apprenticeships in this country and this wouldn’t have been possible without employers like this who are making these opportunities available.

“Apprenticeships offer people a high-quality route to skilled employment with the option to train at every level. You get paid while you train and can start a great career in a huge range of professions ranging from business to hospitality.

“This National Apprenticeship Week, I will celebrate examples of employers doing great work like this, who are giving thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to learn new skills and secure an exciting career.”

Natalie Ray, currently studying for her McDonald’s Hospitality Apprenticeship in Food and Beverage in Cheshire, said: “I first heard about the McDonald’s apprenticeship programme through my sister, who now works at the same restaurant as me! I joined the programme at 32 and have been able to balance the training and with looking after my four children. At the time, I was looking for an opportunity that would offer me the chance to learn new skills and I’m excited to work my way up the business and progress as far as I can”.  

Alex Khan, CEO, Lifetime Training, said: “We have been working in partnership with McDonalds for over 2 years and have seen some incredible success stories, not only from their apprentices but also from the managers across the business who show a huge amount of dedication and commitment to fostering career progression opportunities.  It is more important than ever that we continue to raise the profile of apprenticeships as an exciting route to a rewarding career in the hospitality industry. We are delighted to be part of the McDonalds’ story and look forward to continuing to support their strategy for growing apprenticeship opportunities across the UK.”

 To find out more about McDonald’s apprenticeship programme, go to


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