McDonald’s to give out “A-Levels” in the UK

From the BBC:

Fast-food giant McDonald’s has become one of the first firms to offer its own nationally recognised qualifications.

It will offer a “basic shift manager” course, training staff in skills such as human resources and marketing.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said the company had been approved to develop courses up to the equivalent of A-level standard.

Not being from the UK, I have limited ideas on what “A level” actually means. I was of the belief that it was a combination of “College prep” classes I took in High School which, upon successful completion, would help you get into an appropriate University or College. Wikipedia somewhat bears this out by stating that “The qualification is recognized around the world and is used as a sort of entrance exam for some universities.”

So it sounds as if McDonald’s has been given the go ahead to be used as a specific college entrance criteria. For those in the know, am I right? Lord knows how I’d feel if McD’s had taught my college prep classes.

Apparently the teacher’s in the UK are none to happy about this. From The Independent:

Teachers unions have condemned Gordon Brown’s plan to allow McDonald’s, the hamburger chain, to take part in A-level-style qualifications as a ‘farce’.

The decision to allow McDonalds, the airline FlyBe and Network Rail to issue management training certificates up to the equivalent of A-level or degree level was seen by some critics as dumbing down qualifications. Sally Hunt, of the University and College Union, said although the union supported the need for transferrable qualifications, it was concerned about qualifications that were “narrow and specific to one organisation, like McDonald’s”.

There’s one thing that everyone should remember about corporations. Their first and primary concern is how to increase the value of their corporation, which in turn will increase the value of their stock. Any decision they make, whether it’s their decision to sell healthy food to lobbying governments to allow them to be used as General Certificate of Education qualifications boils down to one thing “What’s in it for me?” Not “What’s in the country’s or society’s best interest?”

I cannot, for the life of me, see how this is good for anyone but McDonald’s.