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McDonald's backs UK-wide soft skills drive with James Caan

McDonald’s UK has launched a new campaign to promote ‘soft skills’ such as communication, interpersonal, and teamwork capabilities in a UK-wide scheme backed by entrepreneur James Caan.

The restaurant chain’s drive will be backed by organisations including the CBI, National Youth Agency, LearnDirect and Barclay to help improve soft skills in the workplace. McDonald’s has invited entrepreneur James Caan to lead a three-month consultation on current practices and attitudes towards soft skills.

The campaign was launched on the back of McDonald’s research which found that despite soft skills contributing £88bn to the UK economy, employers, the government and educators are ill-prepared to support soft skills sufficiently – which will see a lack of such talents in the workforce by 2020.

Jez Langhorn, chief people officer at McDonald’s UK and 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. As integral as they are to the performance and progression of our employees, I know that we can do more to recognise their importance which is why we are launching this campaign.

“In conjunction with James Caan, and a wide range of businesses and organisations I want to find ways in which we can better recognise soft skills and I’m calling on others to join us in re-evaluating and improving these skills.”

James Caan CBE, added: “Soft skills matter – to individuals, to businesses, and to the wider UK economy. Part of the success in my journey wasn’t about my qualifications or experience, but it was the value I gave to soft skills that helped me get to where I am today.”

McDonald’s and its partners will invite businesses, policy experts, campaign groups, trade associations and academics to the three month consultation.

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