My letter to the CEO of McDonald’s urging them to remain a host employer in the Work Experience Scheme:
Dear Ms. McDonald,
McDonald’s have a clear history of its commitment to job creation and educating staff which is why I write today to urge you to stay in the Government’s Workfare programme despite the threat of protests later this week. As a significant employer in the UK with over 80,000 staff, I realise that McDonald’s already invests an impressive £30m a year on training and development. I would like to see McDonald’s continue in the workfare scheme despite the controversy for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it is voluntary. If someone does not wish to go on the scheme they do not have to and there will be no impact on their benefits. 40,000 young people in the UK have taken part already, with impressive results. We need businesses like McDonald’s to continue with this good work. I believe that you are giving young people opportunities in places where there are not any – with opportunities being offered at the end of what can often be the best experience they have had in a job so far. Many young people simply need is a foot in the door to show what they can do – I am sure several of your franchisee owners came from the shop floor and worked their way up. This is something to be proud of and many would be disappointed to see McDonalds give in to groups which have no real understanding of the very people they claim to represent.
Furthermore, I believe the skills that young people gain by working in McDonald’s are transferable to many other roles. With appearances for the past ten years on the top 100 Graduate Employers List, it is clear that a job in McDonalds caters for a range of young people from all kinds of academic backgrounds. This hardly makes a placement with your organisation to be the ‘slave labour’ that some critics accuse it of being.
Therefore I urge you to continue to offer the scheme which gives young people an opportunity they might not otherwise have had. To pull out now would deny a generation of life chances in this already tough economic climate.
Brandon Lewis MP
Member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.