McDonald’s will introduce its own degree in business management for its UK restaurant bosses.
The move could see A-level pupils considering the world-famous burger joint alongside universities as a place to develop their education, although they would have to get a job with the burger franchise first.
The two-year foundation degree in managing business is the latest in the company’s drive to offer an attractive career path for workers. Staff can also study for a full Bachelor of Arts degree with the company if they choose.
The foundation degree, which will be accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University, marks the fast-food company’s latest move into education.
McDonald’s apprenticeship scheme, launched 18 months ago, has been given a “good” rating by Ofsted.
Senior vice-president David Fairhurst said the move challenged misconceptions about McDonald’s workers.
“The old ‘McJob’ label is lazy and snobbish,” he told the BBC.
“People no longer want to choose between jobs and education. They should not be parallel universes,” says Mr Fairhurst.
Instead, he says there should be a model that is more like a “revolving door” – in which people can train and work at the same time.
Mr Fairhurst said the company, which has 85,000 UK staff, wanted to be a “pioneer” in educating employees.
McDonald’s is set to publish a company education prospectus, which it believes is the first of its kind.
Two years ago, the Big Mac creator was given awarding body status, allowing it to develop and award its own qualifications.
However, Mr Fairhurst ruled out McPhDs, saying there were “no plans” to offer qualifications beyond degree level.
McDonald’s has awarded 3,000 A-levels and 3,000 maths and English GCSEs per year since 2008.