MODEL McDonald’s employee David Boote is proof that living with learning difficulties is in no way a hindrance in the workplace after being awarded top marks in the firm’s training scheme.

David, of Upper Stratton, had been out of work for 17 months when he joined the social enterprise SEQOL’s energy2work course run in partnership with JobCentre Plus in 2012.

The 51-year-old, who has some difficulty with literacy and numeracy, was hired by McDonald’s at Orbital Shopping Centre in March 2013 and in just a year has progressed through the international fast food chain’s training scheme.

This month he achieved all four stars in each of the main areas employees’ skills are tested on: providing a high-quality product; giving great service; maintaining a high standard of cleanliness; and overall excellence.

When on shift, David is responsible for making McDonald’s iconic fries for all orders.

David said: “I enjoy working here and am proud to have gained four stars. I had to learn a lot but I liked doing it. Everyone in the team here is nice and I have made a lot of friends. I like coming to work. It is better to have a job, I feel more independent since working here.”

Neil Laybourne, manager of the Orbital restaurant, said: “David is a very valuable member of the team and has taken to the job very well.

“He is conscientious and gets on well with the rest of the staff. He has done well in the tests to gain his stars.

“The overall excellence star requires scores of over 90 per cent, which he has achieved. He should be proud of his success here.”

SEQOL supported employment works with adults with learning difficulties and barriers to employment, who might not otherwise enter the job market.

They work with both prospective employees and employers to match the necessary skills to ensure that placements are beneficial to all parties.

Paul Booth, McDonald’s franchisee, has been working with SEQOL’s supported employment division for 17 years.

He said: “The employees placed by SEQOL supported employment are always a success for us due to the effort put in to match skills with our needs. We made a commitment last year to take on another team member through SEQOL and so found David.

“David is an important part of the team and the other staff will go out of their way to help.

“I would definitely encourage other companies to consider a partnership with SEQOL.”

For more information on SEQOL, visit or call 01793 463 333.