Thousands of London 2012 Games makers have received recognition of their hospitality and skills with a formal qualification created by McDonald's.
Almost 3,000 Games Makers, three times more than expected, have completed the level two City & Guilds award in the principles of customer service as a result of their involvement in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Fast food giant McDonald's created and funded the qualification to help prepare and recognise the volunteers with quality training before, during and after the Games.
"Last summer, the Games Makers showed Britain how the combination of high-quality training, a strong work ethic and a desire to do the best job possible can lift British hospitality to a world-class standard," commented Lord Coe, chairman of the British Olympic Association.
"Following their show-stealing performance during London 2012, it's fantastic to see thousands of Games Makers going a step further and formalising their skills and experience with the national qualification that McDonald's created and funded especially for them."
The qualification was originally designed for those Games Makers who would benefit most, such as those who were unemployed, but many more people than anticipated chose to complete the programme.
Richard Forte, chief operations officer of McDonald's UK, said: "We've always believed in helping people fulfil their potential no matter what their background. It's an approach that serves us well in our own business and it's why the customer service qualification was focused on those people who could receive the greatest benefit from it.
"The number of Games Makers awarded the qualification far exceeds expectations, and it's great to see such an appetite for learning and personal development."
Following on from the success of the programme, McDonald's has extended its support of the hospitality sector by giving the e-learning module it had developed to hospitality sector skills council People 1st, in a bid to help other employers raise standards in their own businesses.