Tech giant Apple has announced a $50 Mn Supplier Employee Development Fund that will expand access to learning opportunities and skills development. This fund 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.
According to the official communique, Apple aims at supporting the worker rights programmes laid down by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the workers in the electronics sector to scale its industry-leading responsible labour recruitment tools.
Commenting on the announcement, Sarah Chandler, Apple’s Senior Director of Environment and Supply Chain Innovation said, “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. Together with rights advocates and education leaders, we are continuing to drive new innovation to support people and the planet.”
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 training and coursework available to supplier employees around the world, with programming initially available to individuals in the US, China, India, and Vietnam.
The communique states that 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.
As part of its new Supplier Employee Development Fund, Apple is also announcing a variety of new and expanded partnerships with labour rights experts, organizations, and UN agencies, including:
- A new partnership with the ILO to advance fundamental labour 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.