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McDonald's launches campaign for employers to push ‘soft skills' within business

16 January 2015 by
McDonald's launches campaign for employers to push ‘soft skills' within business

Fast-food giant McDonald's is teaming up with entrepreneurs including James Caan and organisations such as the CBI and the National Youth Agency to call for a focus on "soft skills" within business.

The campaign warns that many employers and educators do not sufficiently appreciate or encourage the importance of such skills, particularly within the accommodation, and foodservice sectors.

So-called soft skills are defined as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, and time- and self-management.

In its report from development Economics and survey by polling agency YouGov, the campaign estimates that these skills are worth £88b to the UK economy, and that 97% of employers believed they were key to success.

Jez Langhorn, chief people officer at McDonald's UK & Northern Europe, said: "Soft skills like communication and teamwork are incredibly important to our business because of the impact they can have on our customers' experience. I know that we can do more to recognise their importance which is why we are launching this campaign."

Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills said: "Business is clear that developing the right attitudes and attributes in people - such as resilience, respect, enthusiasm and creativity - is just as important as academic or technical skills. In an ever more competitive jobs market it is such qualities that will give our young talent a head start and also allow existing employees to progress."

Entrepreneur Caan is helping to lead the campaign with a three-month consultation on current practices and attitudes towards soft skills, ahead of the publication of an expected list of recommendations intended to help employers recognise the value such skills can bring to the workplace.

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