McDonald’s Corporation, the world’s leading food service retailer, is the latest company to make a commitment to address the youth employment challenge within the framework of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth. Launched in 2016 by the executive heads of the UN, Decent Jobs for Youth is the global initiative to promote youth employment and ensure that young people have access to decent work in line with the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
McDonald’s move to join the Global Initiative comes together with the launch of its new initiative called Youth Opportunity to reduce barriers to decent employment for two-million young people around the globe by 2025. Youth Opportunity will focus on pre-employment job readiness training, employment opportunities and workplace development programmes.
“Around the world, too many young people are finding that, through no fault of their own, there are barriers to entry into the workplace. We believe this needs to change,” said David Fairhurst, McDonald’s Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer. “That is why McDonald’s and participating Franchisees are expanding our existing world-class workplace training and education programmes to go beyond those that we hire. Together, we will leverage our scale for good and help these young people to develop the core workplace skills they need to get a job and the opportunities they need to kick-start their career and achieve their true potential – whether at McDonald’s or elsewhere.”
Through the Youth Opportunity initiative, the company is piloting a pre-employment job readiness training programme in Chicago, with the goal of reducing barriers to employment for 4,000 young people in the city, before rolling it out to select cities in the U.S. starting next year. This initiative will also be rolled out from 2019 to participating global markets through locally-relevant training programmes and partners.
“With 64 million young people unemployed worldwide, the youth employment challenge is vast and affects all countries. The ILO is fully engaged in equipping young people with relevant skills for the labour market. It works with governments and social partners in implementing targeted solutions to boost youth’s transition into quality jobs – jobs that protect their rights, afford them social protection and allows them a voice. We welcome McDonald’s decision to pledge a commitment towards Decent Jobs for Youth. which aims at positive change in young people’s lives through positive action,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy.
By positioning its new initiative in the platform of Decent Jobs for Youth, McDonald’s joins a diverse group of strategic partners committed to scaling up action and impact on youth employment. Commitments from the private sector include Nestlé’s Global Youth Initiative, which seeks to facilitate access to economic opportunities for 10 million young people worldwide, and Lukoil’s deep dive on CIS countries, enhancing local capacities and knowledge to deliver effective national youth employment policies and programmes.
Partners of Decent Jobs for Youth agree to align their actions to 15 key guiding principles and improve the quantity and quality of jobs for youth. In return, they (i) secure access to expertise, networks, and best practices from a worldwide alliance committed to creating decent jobs for young women and men; (ii) gain further global recognition by positioning the organizations’ youth employment actions in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and (iii) increase their scope and impact through synergies at country and regional level.