International fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s has been running an apprenticeship scheme since 2009, and also offers tailor-made City & Guilds qualifications to help improve customer service
Since introducing its apprenticeship scheme in 2009, over 7000 McDonald’s employees have completed the learning programme, demonstrating their sharpened customer service skills to customers in the company’s 1200 sites across the UK. The service improvement hasn’t stopped there – a further 8000 employees are currently enrolled at different stages of the tailor-made Level 2 Award in Hospitality.
McDonald’s saw apprenticeships as the perfect way to deliver training to their staff while seeing immediate improvements in customer satisfaction. ‘The McDonald’s Apprenticeship is rooted firmly in the needs of the business,’ explains the company’s National Education Manager, Sue Husband. ‘It aims to develop employees’ knowledge and skills so that they improve their performance, meet the highest quality standards and deliver customer satisfaction. It is all about the effective day-to-day running of each restaurant and how every apprentice can contribute to this.’
Maths and English skills
During the apprenticeship, staff members develop their Maths and English skills before working on a portfolio of work that explores various aspects of the business and encourages learners to play an active role in the workplace.
‘For example,’ says Husband, ‘they might focus on the environment and assess how savings could be made through the effective use of equipment. Another really important part of the scheme is the exploration of each apprentice’s rights and responsibilities as a McDonald’s employee.’
Pride in their work
The apprenticeship is giving McDonald’s staff an increased sense of pride in their work. Kirby Rayworth is a McDonald’s Shift Manager who has completed her Intermediate Apprenticeship in Hospitality and Catering and Level 3 Diploma in Shift Management.
‘You can tell straight away when you walk into a McDonald’s restaurant that their staff are different,’ says Kirby, ‘because the level of customer service they offer is far higher than at competitor restaurants. As part of the apprenticeship programme I learned the importance of delivering high levels of customer service to ensure customer satisfaction – that’s a really important skill which comes through in everyone who has completed an apprenticeship.’
Positive effects of training
Jez Langhorn, Vice President of People at McDonald’s UK believes that the training is having a positive effect that reaches far beyond business performance, affecting the individual staff members personally.
‘For those members of staff who don’t have qualifications, gaining them for the first time is a big builder of confidence, pride and their skills – which in turn helps them to do a better job for us and for our customers. There is no doubt that investing in our apprenticeship programme has already paid huge dividends.’