Apprenticeships in hospitality are every bit as challenging and worthwhile for the learner, the employer and the wider economy as those in more traditional sectors, contrary to Gerard Eadie's assertion ("Do we want a nation of burger bar managers?", February 13).
Talk to McDonald's employee and newly-qualified apprentice Alix Potts and you immediately see the value of such apprenticeships. Having left school with few qualifications and abandoned a career in hairdressing, Alix is now a fully-qualified McDonald's apprentice, proud of and excited by the doors her qualification has opened. She has received three pay rises and two promotions in the last year, and is working towards a nationally recognised A level-equivalent management qualification.
The service sector accounts for 75 per cent of UK output and has grown by 12 per cent since 1990. It employs 1.9 million people (one in five of today's workforce) and is responsible for creating new and valuable employment opportunities.
McDonald's apprenticeships in multi-skilled hospitality will provide thousands of our employees with new skills and, importantly, a valuable, transferable and nationally-recognised qualification. Many of our staff stay for long-term careers, but those who don't move on to their next job with a qualification which will help them hit the ground running, whatever sector they choose to work in.
David Fairhurst, Senior vice-president and chief people officer, McDonald's Restaurants Limited, High Road, East Finchley, London.