Apple announces $50 million Supplier Employee Development Fund

By 2023, Apple expects more than 100,000 supplier employees to participate in new learning opportunities, including coding, robotics, and advanced manufacturing fundamentals.

Apple has announced a US$50 million Supplier Employee Development Fund designed to expand access to learning opportunities and skills development. 

About the Supplier Employee Fund

The tech giant says that 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, in a press release. “Together with rights advocates and education leaders, we are continuing to drive new innovation to support people and the planet.”

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.”

Educational and Career 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 says it’s 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.

To date, Apple says its supplier employee educational programming has reached more than five million people.

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 says it 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.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.