McDonald’s has pledged to create 43,000 apprenticeships across Europe by 2025, including a substantial number in the UK.
The fast food chain said the move is part of its Youth Opportunity Programme, a new initiative to reduce barriers to employment for two million young people by 2025.
The apprenticeships will provide a combination of workplace training and study, which McDonald’s said will help young people gain “practical experience, new skills and nationally recognised qualifications” while earning.
McDonald’s will offer opportunities across the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland, with plans to expand to other markets in the future.
The group’s chief people officer for the UK, Harriet Hounsell, said: “Across the UK, there are many young people struggling to gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workplace.
“By providing opportunities for young people to continue their education, develop their skills and gain qualifications while they earn, we want to help them take the next steps in their career.”
In the UK, McDonald’s said it has helped more than 18,500 qualified apprentices to learn on the job over the past 12 years.
By the end of 2018, the company will also have made 100 places available on its Management Degree Apprenticeship Programme, a two- to five-year apprenticeship developed in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.
McDonald’s cited statistics from the European Commission which show that nearly 5.5 million of Europe’s young people are not in employment, education or training.