No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Updating Basic Skills: I’m Lovin’ It!


McDonald’s has launched a new in-house career and lifestyle website that will enable up to 1,000 employees to gain GCSE-equivalent qualifications over the next 12 months.

The website, called Our Lounge, will enable all 67,000 UK staff to log on and plug their skills gaps, with the support of an online tutor. Employees will go on to take nationally recognised level 1 and 2 qualifications in accredited exam centre restaurants.

David Fairhurst, vice-president, people, McDonald’s, said: “We are proud that we recruit on qualities, not qualifications. That serves us very well, with 80 per cent of our restaurant management having started as hourly-paid crew members.

“But we can do more to ensure that no one is held back by not having the basics of literacy and numeracy. Our Lounge is the logical evolution of our shoulder-to- shoulder coaching and development programme. It brings a new convenience to learning and removes the barriers of travelling to colleges and other adult education learning centres to sit exams.

“Best of all, this is a long way from traditional skills assessments. The entire site has been created by our own people to give them the information, advice and support they have told us they need to enhance their social, personal and working lives. In short, Our Lounge is a virtual life coach for all of our people.

“When you consider that most people in need of help with literacy and numeracy are already in the workforce, basic skills training is a matter of concern for everyone. I believe that as a progressive employer, McDonald’s is playing its part in ensuring that the dire predictions of a lost generation with basic skills deficiencies does not become a reality that holds business and Britain back.”

According to the Leitch Review of Skills interim report, more than one-third of UK adults do not hold the equivalent of a basic school-leaving qualification, almost half are not functionally numerate and one-sixth are not functionally literate.

Richard Lambert, CBI director-general, said: “Competency in literacy and numeracy is vital for the modern world of work and McDonald’s should be applauded for investing in their employees’ development and allowing staff to brush up and improve these essential abilities.

“By offering on-site training through such an innovative approach McDonald’s has made these opportunities far more accessible and attractive to its employees.”

McDonald’s has worked closely with Cambridge Training and Development and the Learning and Skills Council to provide the basic skills tests. Level 1 is considered to be the equivalent of an NVQ Level 1 or GCSE grade D-G, while Level 2 correlates to NVQ Level 2 or GCSE A-C.

Chris Banks, chairman of the Learning and Skills Council, added: “What’s really significant to me, and the Learning and Skills Council, whose job it is to raise the country’s skills levels, are the access to Level 1 and 2 qualifications on offer at the click of a mouse.

“This is a significant step. Making learning easy and accessible is crucial to increasing the number of people with these essential qualifications and your people will benefit enormously and so will McDonald’s as a business.”

Our Lounge hosts an array of features including music, fashion, film, travel, community and chat, plus all-round support from external experts, from tips on improving communication skills to buying a house for the first time. To ensure the site gets the thumbs-up, it has been rigorously tested at each stage of the development process by a group of 150 employees.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!