March 30, 2022
Apple launches $50 million Supplier Employee Development Fund
To support expanded initiatives for people across its supply chain, Apple is partnering with the International Labor Organization, the International Organization for Migration, and education experts around the world
Cupertino, California Apple today announced a $50 million Supplier Employee Development Fund that will expand access to learning opportunities and skills development. The fund also includes new and expanded partnerships with leading rights advocates, universities, and nonprofits to drive Apple’s ongoing work to empower supplier employees and drive improvements in knowledge of and respect for workplace rights across industries.
As part of the new $50 million commitment, and building on Apple’s long history in the space, the company is working alongside supply chain partners to amplify worker voice. That includes supporting the worker rights programs created by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for people in the electronics sector, and the work the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is doing to expand rights trainings and scale its industry-leading responsible labor recruitment tools.
“We put people first in everything that we do, and we’re proud to announce a new commitment to accelerate our progress and provide even more opportunities for people across our supply chain,” said Sarah Chandler, Apple’s senior director of Environment and Supply Chain Innovation. “Together with rights advocates and education leaders, we are continuing to drive new innovation to support people and the planet.”
“At IOM, we understand that supply chain responsibility is complex, and must be driven by innovation, results, and partnerships,” said Amy Pope, IOM’s deputy director general for Management and Reform. “Improving people’s lives must be at its core. The IOM and Apple partnership has proven results in Apple’s own supply chain and paves the way for others in the industry to follow. To effect real change, we need global collaboration that engages workers, NGOs, government, and industry. Apple’s new commitments will have tangible, meaningful benefits for workers around the world.”
Apple is also today releasing its 16th annual People and Environment in Our Supply Chain Report, which provides a comprehensive account of how Apple and its suppliers are supporting people across the company’s supply chain, transitioning to clean energy, and investing in cutting-edge technologies.
New Educational and Career Development Opportunities
Apple has offered in-person and virtual education, skill-building, and enrichment courses since 2008, providing opportunities for people in its supply chain to gain new technical and leadership skills. With the launch of the Supplier Employee Development Fund, Apple is significantly expanding the scope of these offerings, with new educational resources for people in its supply chain — and the surrounding communities — to develop the skills necessary for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
The new education initiatives will make trainings and coursework available to supplier employees around the world, with programming initially available to individuals in the US, China, India, and Vietnam. By 2023, Apple expects more than 100,000 supplier employees to participate in new learning opportunities — from leadership training and technical certifications to classes on coding, robotics, and advanced manufacturing fundamentals, including green manufacturing.
These new initiatives build on Apple’s long-standing commitment to invest in the people in its supply chain and drive manufacturing best practices around the world. To date, Apple’s supplier employee educational programming has reached more than 5 million people.
Expanding and Scaling Worker Rights Programs
As part of its Supplier Code of Conduct, Apple requires all suppliers to provide their employees with training on their workplace rights. To date, over 23 million people across Apple’s global supply chain have received critical worker rights training.
In partnership with the IOM and the ILO — United Nations agencies that advocate for worker rights — Apple will expand this work, creating new programs, trainings, and worker feedback mechanisms that help ensure a safe, respectful work environment for people across its supply chain.
As part of its new Supplier Employee Development Fund, Apple is also announcing a variety of new and expanded partnerships with labor rights experts, organizations, and UN agencies, including:
- A new partnership with the ILO to advance fundamental labor rights in electronics supply chains.
- A new initiative to scale a best-in-class digital worker rights training program across Apple’s supply chain.
- Expanding work with the IOM to scale the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit — developed by Apple in partnership with the IOM — across Apple’s supply chain, which will soon be open-sourced for companies across industries.
- Developing communications platforms and driving awareness of existing independent worker hotlines for supplier employees to share feedback or concerns about their workplace.
Learn more about Apple’s commitment to supporting and protecting the people and environment in its supply chain in its 2022 People and Environment in Our Supply Chain Progress Report.
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s five software platforms — iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.
Rachel Wolf Tulley
Apple Media Helpline