Today Apple announced a $50 million Supplier Employee Development Fund. This fund is a means to supply access to learning opportunities and skill development for its supply chain employees.
New and expanded partnerships with rights advocates, universities and nonprofits will receive funds to help enrich the company’s supplier employees, as well as continue improvements in workplace rights across industries.
Apple Funds its Supply Chain
Apple will begin working alongside its supply chain suppliers to help amplify the voices of workers, ensuring that communication remain a top priority. This entails Apple supporting the worker rights programs created by the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the International Organization for Migration (IMO). This will not only benefit individuals in the electronics sector, but also expand rights training and scale responsible labor recruitment tools.
The company also announced that it is releasing the 16th annual People and Environment in Our Supply Chain Report. This report provides an account of how Apple and its suppliers help support individuals across the supply chain. It also provides insight into Apple’s transition into clean energy, as well as investments in future technologies.
Since 2008, the company has been providing skill building and enrichment courses to those within the supply chain. With the intent of delivering new technical and leadership skills, the new launch of the Supplier Employee Development Fund intends to further these contributions.
Apple states that the new education initiatives intends to supply training and coursework to supplier employees globally. The programs will initially start in the US, China, India and Vietnam. The company hopes to expand the program to over 100,00 supplier employees by 2023. This training includes technical certifications, classes on coding, robotics and advanced manufacturing fundamentals.
As of today, Apple’s education programming has reached over 5 million people involved in its supply chain.
Working with the Employees
Part of the company’s program involves the Supplier Code of Conduct. Currently, Apple demands that all suppliers provide training to its employees regarding workplace rights. So far, Apple has helped over 23 million people receive critical workers rights training across the company’s supply chain.
Apple also announced its partnership with the IOM and the ILO. These agencies, created by the United Nations, will work alongside Apple to create new programs involving a safer and more respected work environment.
Another part of Apple’s Supplier Employee Development Fund announces new and expanded partnerships with various labor rights experts. Apple is looking to expand into a variety of new fields. This includes a new initiative to bring new digital worker rights training programs to the company’s supply chain. It also brings expanded work with IOM to scale the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit. Developed in conjunction with the IOM, Apple hopes to make this toolkit open-source for companies.
Apple also hopes to develop communication platforms for supplier employees.
As Apple continues to invest in its employees across all fields, they also continue to strive toward cleaner energy. Apple is expecting its entire to supply chain and line of products to be entirely carbon neutral by 2030.