Fast-food chain McDonald's is hiring 2,500 people in the UK raising its workforce to 90,000 this year, according to a Guardian report. In the last three years, the company has added 13,500 new posts.

At least half the new jobs will go to youngsters and some 30 per cent to first-time workers.

Amid the general economic gloom, the announcement has brought some cheer. Prime Minister David Cameron hailed McDonald's move to create new jobs. He said McDonald's has a great record in investing in the UK and providing excellent training, apprenticeships and opportunities for its staff.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called it "fantastic", especially the fact that most of the jobs would be going to youngsters.

The Guardian quoted him as saying: "This invests valuable time and resources to help young people, with little or no experience in the world of work, to develop their skills and confidence. In the end, that gives young people a terrific opportunity to move up within the company, or use their experience and training to move into other jobs.

"It's a telling fact that half of McDonald's current board have progressed from the shop floor to the top floor, having started their careers serving customers in the restaurant."

According to the paper, Jill McDonald, chief executive officer of McDonald's UK, said: "Despite these difficult economic conditions, our continued emphasis on good quality food at affordable prices, and improving the experience for our customers and our people, has meant that we are able to continue to invest in the business and create jobs.

"Today's job market is particularly tough for young people so it remains vital that these jobs continue to offer great training programmes that teach the valued, transferable skills that will give them a solid footing on the career ladder and help them to progress their careers with us or other employers."

McDonald's has been in the UK since 1974 and has over 1,200 restaurants across Britain and the Republic of Ireland.