Apple has announced a US$50 million Supplier Employee Development Fund that will broaden access to learning opportunities and skills development for its suppliers’ employees.
As part of the multi-million dollar commitment, the company is also working alongside supply chain partners to amplify workers’ voices. Apple says it will team up with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to support the workers rights programs created by the organization for people in the electronics industry. In addition, it will also assist with the work the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is doing to expand rights training and scale its industry-leading responsible labour recruitment tools.
Apple has offered in-person and virtual education, skill-building, and enrichment courses since 2008, but with the launch of the Supplier Employee Development Fund, Apple is significantly expanding the scope of these offerings. It is providing new educational resources for people in its supply chain and the surrounding communities, helping them develop the skills necessary for their jobs.
The new education initiatives will make training and coursework available to supplier employees around the world, with programming initially available to individuals in the U.S., China, India, and Vietnam.
By 2023, Apple expects more than 100,000 supplier employees to participate in new learning opportunities. This includes leadership training and technical certifications to classes on coding, robotics, and advanced manufacturing fundamentals, including green manufacturing.
As part of its Supplier Code of Conduct, Apple requires all suppliers to provide their employees with training on their workplace rights. As of now, more than 23 million people across Apple’s global supply chain have received critical worker rights training.
In partnership with the IOM and the ILO, Apple will expand this work, creating new programs, training courses, and worker feedback mechanisms to ensure a safe environment for people across its supply chain.
Apple also released its 16th annual People and Environment in Our Supply Chain Report, which provides detail on how the company and suppliers are “supporting people across the company’s supply chain, transitioning to clean energy, and investing in cutting-edge technologies.”