Preparing young people for the workplace
McDonald’s launched the pilot of the Youth Opportunity pre-employment training initiative in Chicago in 2018, in partnership with the International Youth Foundation. McDonald’s Corporation distributed $1 million in grants to four local community-based organizations with deep regional roots and decades of experience serving young people and their communities. These organizations paired relevant skills training programs with a specialized version of IYF’s Passport to Success curriculum, developed in partnership with McDonald’s.
The Chicago pilot program provided life skills training to over 4,200 young people, exceeding the program’s initial goal of reaching 4,000 youth. Upon completion of the program, 87% of young people surveyed reported an increase in life skills and 71% were engaged in education or employment.2
Following the success of the pilot program, Youth Opportunity expanded to Washington DC in July 2019. In partnership with IYF and local community-based organizations, the DC program aims to reach 1,000 youth in the area. The program is also continuing in Chicago in 2019, with a goal of serving an additional 4,000 young people.
Supporting youth across Latin America
Youth unemployment is one of the most critical issues in Latin America. As one of the region’s largest employers of young people, Arcos Dorados, a McDonald’s Franchisee, has long been committed to supporting the social mobility of youth and offering formal employment opportunities to those with little to no prior work experience.
For example, in Mexico, Arcos Dorados is a member of the “Jovenenes Construyendo el Futuro” (Youth Building the Future) program. In partnership with the national government, the program aims to provide young people training on critical life skills, such as personal finance, to aid their entry into the formal workforce.
In Colombia, Arcos Dorados is a member of the “40 Mil Primeros Empleos” (40,000 First Jobs) initiative, which seeks to provide first employment opportunities to 40,000 young Colombians in vulnerable conditions.
In Argentina, Arcos Dorados supports a number of skills programs, including the “Creando Tu Futuro” (Creating Your Future) workplace skills program, which combines online and classroom education focused on three key areas: guidance for work; technical skills in hospitality, customer service, or computer literacy; and personal finance, math, and Spanish.
Another initiative Arcos Dorados supports is Empleo con Apoyo, which aims to provide employment opportunities and skills development to young people with disabilities. During 2018, approximately 2,000 employees across several countries were part of the program. In 2018, Arcos Dorados received the Global Recognition Award from the United Nations for their employment practices for disabled workers in Brazil.
Arcos Dorados is also widely recognized as a leader in the Great Place to Work awards; several markets have participated and are recognized on a yearly basis.
Investing in apprenticeships
The success of our Youth Opportunity initiative depends not only on helping young people access jobs but also on our significant and ongoing commitment to young people who join us, through training, education and development programs.
In Europe, McDonald’s, including participating Franchisees, have pledged to offer 45,000 apprenticeships by 2025 as one of the career development opportunities that young people can access. The apprenticeships combine workplace training and study, enabling people to gain practical work experience and new skills that will last a lifetime - all while earning money at the same time. These apprenticeships will be offered in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK. Through this pledge, McDonald’s joined the European Alliance for Apprenticeships to help promote and improve access to vocational training for young people.
In the U.S., we granted $1 million to Skills for Chicagoland’s Future in support of a new apprenticeship program in partnership with City Colleges of Chicago. The program builds on City Colleges of Chicago’s mission to deliver exceptional learning opportunities and educational services for students. Launched in fall 2018, this pilot enables students to earn an associate degree in business administration while working toward a restaurant management role. The grant provides scholarships to pay for time spent in class by any student who is an employee of a Franchisee. As part of this initiative, we have also joined the Chicago Apprenticeship Network to continue best practice sharing with other companies that are committed to expanding professional advancement through apprenticeships.