Apple announces $50 million supplier employee development fund

Cupertino-based technology major Apple on Wednesday (March 30) announced a dedicated fund to help supplier employees enhance their skill sets.

With the $50 million supplier employee development fund, Apple will offer educational tools with supplier partner companies around the world, with programming initially available to individuals in the US, China, India, and Vietnam.

In India, tens of thousands of employees will benefit from the programme. They will be offered leadership training for local supervisors, automation training that will give the participants the tools to gain technical expertise for not just existing technology and also get an understanding of what the future manufacturing requirements will be.

The training will be year-round and with this, employees will be able to add more certified skills to their CVs and help advance their roles in higher rungs of the company.

And, by 2023, Apple aims to train more than 100,000 supplier employees with leadership training and technical certifications in classes on coding, robotics, and advanced manufacturing fundamentals, including green manufacturing.

Apple’s $50 million Supplier Employee Development Fund will expand access to learning opportunities and skills development for people across its supply chain. Credit: Apple

Apple also released the 16th annual People and Environment in Our Supply Chain Report. It highlights how the company has been able to help supply partners with new smart manufacturing technologies and training on workers’ rights.

As part of the Supplier Code of Conduct initiative, Apple’s suppliers are obliged to offer their employees training and also a platform to hear their requests, as part of the workplace rights. So far, more than 23 million people across Apple’s global supply chain have received critical worker rights training.

This will ensure the employees get a platform to effectively communicate with the company’s senior executives, to raise issues such as improving basic facilities such as the hygienic canteen, and the restroom at the factories. This will certainly help in creating a habitable workspace and increased productivity.

Apple has zero-tolerance for forced labor or human rights violations of any kind. Picture Credit: Apple

“This year, our teams and independent auditors conducted 1,177 assessments of our supplier facilities in 52 countries. We engaged more than 350,000 supplier employees about their workplace experiences. And for new suppliers, we conducted extensive onboarding to be sure they abide by our Supplier Code — in their respect for people’s rights and for the planet,” said Sabih Khan, who leads Appleʼs global supply chain, which includes environment and supply chain innovation.

Apple will be working with International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) — United Nations agencies to further improve and expand the training works in more regions.

In India, Apple works with Wistron, Pegatron, and Foxconn to make several models of iPhones and accessories for both the local market and exports.

The Cupertino-based company supports more than one million jobs directly and indirectly through app development support, retail supplier chains, and allied business in India.

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