Apple Announces $50 Million Supplier Employee Development Fund

Image: Apple

Apple on Wednesday announced a $50 million USD Supplier Employee Development Fund to expand access to learning opportunities and skills development across its entire supply chain, and also amplify worker voices by supporting workers’ rights programs.

The tech giant has teamed up with the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and education experts from all over the world for the endeavour.

“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.”

Apple’s efforts in supplier employee education have reached more than 5 million people to date, said the tech giant.

The $50 million development fund will enable new educational and career development opportunities for individuals across Apple’s supply chain. The company’s new education initiatives will make training and coursework available to supplier employees around the world, starting first with individuals in the US, China, India, and Vietnam.

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

The development fund will also support partnerships with the ILO, which runs several workers’ rights programs for people in the electronics sector, and the IOM, which conducts rights training and develops industry-leading responsible labour recruitment tools.

Apple said the new Supplier Employee Development Fund will include:

  • 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.

Apple today also released 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.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an internal email earlier this month in which he addressed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said that Apple would match employees’ donations to humanitarian efforts in the region two to one. Apple announced its fiscal Q1 2022 financial results back in January, posting an all-time revenue record of $123.9 billion.