Fast-food chain McDonald's is set to create 8,000 new jobs across the UK over the next three years, taking the company's UK workforce to more than 100,000.
Around 70% of the new jobs are expected to go to first-time workers and people under the age of 25, which the company said is part of its ongoing commitment to support and develop young people.
Today's announcement comes as McDonald's marks 40 years' operating in Britain and releases the findings of a new economic report.
‘Serving the UK: McDonald's at 40'examined the positive contribution McDonald's has made to its people, to its customers, to communities and to the national economy over 40 years.
It found that since the first UK restaurant opened in 1974, McDonald's, along with its suppliers and franchisees, has supported the creation of 1.5 million jobs; spent over £26b with UK-based businesses; and delivered a total contribution of more than £40b to the British economy in 2013 prices.
The economic analysis also found that British businesses benefit from annual McDonald's supply chain expenditure of around £2b each year.
McDonald's is now one of the UK's largest private sector employers, and the new jobs come as a result of continued investment and sustained growth in the UK by the company and its network of franchisees.
Last year, £95m was invested in new restaurants, extended opening hours and a major restaurant refurbishment programme.
"To mark our 40 years in the UK we wanted to take a close look at our economic and community impact, from the jobs we have created to the world leading supply chain we have built," commented Jill McDonald, North West division president and chief executive officer, McDonald's UK.
"By taking a responsible and long-term approach we have been able to support jobs for local people and create opportunities for UK-based businesses. Our continued growth will enable us to further expand our workforce over the next few years, and in many cases give thousands of young people a valuable opportunity to start building their careers.
"The foundations we have laid will help us make the right decisions for the future whether it's continuing to invest in the customer experience, leading the way on support for British Farming, or employing and training even more people."