Bart graduates with frying colours

Joseph Bulmer

Barnstaple fast food worker is one of the first to complete ‘Hamburger University’ foundation degree.

A BARNSTAPLE fast food worker has become one of the first people in the UK to have gained a foundation degree – awarded by McDonald’s.

Bart Gasiorowski, who runs the Eastern Avenue restaurant, was awarded his Managing Business Operations certificate during an official graduation ceremony in Manchester.

Bart, 31, is one of 46 other McDonald’s restaurant managers across the country to complete the one-year course, which is accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University and was launched in 2010. It involved work-placed leaning as well as courses in Manchester and at McDonald’s ‘Hamburger University’ in London.

He said: “Completing the foundation degree course has been hard work, but also an extremely enjoyable experience.

“Having studied in Poland, I was eager to gain a good set of UK qualifications in an environment where I could get on the job training and support.

“English isn’t my first language so it hasn’t been easy, but when I was walking up to collect my certificate at the graduation ceremony, it felt like all my hard work had paid off and it was a real sense of achievement.”

Bart, originally from Poznan in central Poland, moved to the UK with his wife in 2005 and began working for McDonald’s as a dishwasher in the Minehead branch. He was promoted to restaurant manager moved to Little Torrington with his wife after transferring to Barnstaple last month.

“The course has increased my understanding and awareness of business and time management and it’s a qualification that I can take with me wherever I go,” he added.

Local McDonald’s franchisee David Hunt, said: “There’s no longer a need to decide between learning and earning and as such, I’m thrilled to be able to offer all my employees the chance to gain valuable qualifications.

“Bart has set the bar high by gaining his foundation degree qualification and I know his hard work will inspire his colleagues to be ambitious when it comes to improving their skills and qualifications.”