Youth Employment UK recognises McDonald’s with Youth Friendly Employer Award

McDonald’s UK has achieved the national Youth Friendly Employer Award in recognition in its commitment to youth employment.

What makes McDonald’s Youth Friendly?

McDonald’s has demonstrated that they meet the highest standards for their youth employment practice.

“McDonald’s has an outstanding approach to youth employment, more than 70% of their workforce is aged 16-24 and they have made it their business to understand this cohort and ensure that they have the very best practice in place. They set a benchmark for youth friendly employers everywhere” says Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO Youth Employment UK

Across each Youth Friendly Employer Award framework area (explore, experience and employment) McDonald’s was able to evidence the quality of support they provide young people. McDonald’s has made a significant investment in ensuring a consistent approach to youth employment across its network. Young people benefit from high quality training, mentoring and support. Excellent resources have been created to support schools, parents and staff to ensure the quality of experience for each young person it supports.

There was a clear commitment to diversity and inclusion with innovative examples of adapting working conditions. Of particular note was the work McDonald’s has done to ensure that young staff members and participants of various programmes have the opportunity to feed in to the development of the initiatives that they have experienced, such as the work experience programme.

Harriet Hounsell, Chief People Officer, McDonald’s UK and Ireland said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by Youth Employment UK and receive the Youth Friendly Employer Award. We are a proud employer of thousands of young people throughout the UK – from students who are undertaking part-time work with us, through to apprentices and those building a career. No matter what their ambition, we look to support them and their progression through training and development. Working with Youth Employment UK has also helped provide us with some insight on areas where we can continue to challenge ourselves as an employer – it’s a partnership we really value.”

What is the Youth Friendly Employer Award?

The Youth Friendly Employer Award is a quality kitemark that assesses organisations against a best practice framework. The Award supports organisations to embed a youth friendly employment culture to help create a motivated and diverse future workforce.

Organisations with the Youth Friendly Employer Award demonstrate that they provide young people with quality opportunities to explore, experience work, and have a range of youth employment pathways. Youth Friendly Employers are supported with a comprehensive resource bank which provides advice and guidance on all aspects of youth employment and are profiled and connected to the Young Professional Network.

You can see the McDonald’s Employer Profile here

Why it’s important

There are still nearly 800,000 young people not in education, employment or training, and In a post-Brexit economy with increasing skills shortages it couldn’t be more important to support young people as they move from education into employment. Helping them to develop the skills they need to fulfil the requirements of business and their own career aspirations.

“Young people tell us that it is the lack of understanding what skills they need and what careers exist that is their biggest barrier to employment. Young people in the main do not think employers are particularly supportive of hiring them. The Youth Friendly Employer Award addresses all of those challenges whilst supporting employers to develop and be recognised for excellent programmes. Now is the time for us to create a Youth Friendly Economy.” Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO of Youth Employment UK

About Youth Employment UK

Youth Employment UK are the leading voice and expert on youth employment issues in the UK. A not for profit organisation set up in 2012 to reduce youth unemployment and support every young person to progress. Youth Employment UK works with all stakeholders invested in youth employment and champion collaboration; working to engage employers in quality youth friendly practice, provide young people with the tools to explore and develop their skills and career options as well as providing a voice on policy

For further information: Contact us by phone on 01536 680916 or email us at

Aged 14-24?



Apply now for the Youth Friendly Employer Award:

  • A quality kitemark for employers
  • A powerful recruitment & development tool
  • Attract candidates for apprenticeships & early careers

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