McDonald's reaches milestone of 20,000 apprentices

As McDonald’s enters its 50th year in the UK, the brand is celebrating a key milestone of supporting more than 20,000 apprentices across the UK since 2006.

McDonald’s has been offering award-winning apprenticeships for more than 18 years and continues to invest in the programme, with more than 20 different programmes available for employees across the country. The brand incorporated apprenticeships into its sustainability commitments and is looking for more than 600 to join the programme this year - a goal McDonald’s is reaffirming this National Apprenticeship Week.

Available in restaurants in local communities across the country, apprenticeships combine workplace training with studying, and 2023 saw more than 1,000 McDonald’s employees undertake nationally qualified qualifications across the year. It’s a great option for those looking to earn while they learn, and with a dedicated mentor assigned at the beginning of their journey, apprentices are fully supported throughout the programme.

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McDonald’s is also announcing the launch of its brand-new internal Apprenticeship Awards, where the incredible achievements of stand-out apprentices and mentors will be celebrated at a special awards ceremony later this year.

Paul Kerr at his graduation Paul Kerr at his graduation
Paul Kerr at his graduation

James Thorne, SVP, chief people officer at McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said:“We’re incredibly proud of our long history of offering apprenticeships at McDonald’s, and want to encourage even more people to take advantage of our award-winning programmes. I’ve seen just how beneficial apprenticeships can be when it comes to personal growth and career progression, and hope that the launch of the McDonald’s Apprenticeship Awards will inspire people to choose a scheme that will help them realise their full potential.”

One local apprentice, Paul Kerr, who started his journey in the Graduate Apprenticeship programme at the Castlemilk restaurant in Glasgow, shares how his experience helped him to progress in both his professional and personal life.

Paul, now a business manager at McDonald’s in Springburn, was one of the first people in Scotland to complete the Graduate Apprenticeship and has been selected as a finalist this year for a British Education Award. He said this qualification gave him great insights he was then able to implement into his day-to-day role of managing a restaurant. He is now hungry for success and hopes to one day own his own franchise.

Paul added: "Working at McDonald's has given me options I just didn't have before, and I'm already using my new skills developed in my role. My family, friends and team are really behind me and my long-term goal is to become a Franchisee one day."

Franchisee Andy Gibson, who owns and operates 27 McDonald’s restaurants across Scotland including Springburn, said:“It is vital that all my employees feel able to pursue their ambitions and we’re delighted to have been able to offer the flexibility Paul needed to study and complete his apprenticeship.

“The team and I are hugely proud of Paul, especially as his achievements have been recognised by the British Education Awards, and I hope to see more of our people take advantage of the learning and development programmes McDonald’s has to offer."

For more information about McDonald's apprenticeship programme and to find out about the opportunities available, please visit: