Empowering Workers

Preparing people for the workplace and beyond.

Students attend a class about zero waste initiatives in Shenzhen, China.

On-the-job training should begin with understanding one’s rights.

Since 2008, our suppliers have trained over 9.25 million workers to understand local laws, health and safety regulations, and the Apple Code of Conduct. We require factory supervisors to uphold appropriate employment policies and maintain a safe workplace, and we teach them how to better communicate with workers.

Participation in Workers’ Rights Training
Year Cumulative participation Annual participation
2007 2K 2K
2008 29K 27K
2009 157K 128K
2010 329K 172K
2011 1.02M 700K
2012 2.3M 1.3M
2013 3.8M 1.5M
2014 6.2M 2.3M
2015 9.25M 3.05M
A SEED iPad class in Shenzhen, China.

It’s about more than jobs. It’s about opportunities.

We want workers to be successful in our factories, but we also want to help them explore new opportunities. That’s why we developed the Supplier Employee Education and Development (SEED) program. We set up classrooms in supplier facilities where workers can take free courses in subjects as diverse as computer skills, graphic design, English, and human resources management. Each classroom is equipped with Mac computers and video conferencing capabilities, and we provide iPad devices loaded with classes similar to those offered through SEED. We also offer short courses and quizzes on mobile devices related to job function, life skills, and financial literacy. This year, many SEED participants earned bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in partnership with local universities.

Case Study

Carl Yang turns a job into a career.

Soon after Carl Yang graduated from junior vocational school, he started working as a material operator in the Jabil Suzhou factory. After three years of working on the production line, he was ready for a new challenge. Then one day he saw a notice for the SEED program and applied for the human resources management program, a field that had interested him for a long time.

Carl helps a SEED instructor prepare for class.

Over the next nine months, Carl attended human resources classes. He devoted his spare time to his studies until he earned his high school diploma specializing in human resources. He did so well in the course interviews and performance assessments that he earned a position on the HR team as a SEED administrator.

In his new role, Carl provides technical support on classroom iPad devices and iMac computers and course guidance to workers entering the SEED program. And driven by a newfound passion for his work, he continues to take courses to further his own education. Carl is on his way to earning a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Carl helps workers with their homework.

Raising the standard of education.

After their primary education, many students in China attend vocational schools. To help make sure these schools are teaching students the skills they need to succeed, we created a school credentialing system in partnership with local government, Dell Inc., and Stanford University’s Rural Education Action Program (REAP).

While Apple’s supply chain includes only a small percentage of interns from these schools, results measured in 2015 suggest that the system leads to an increase in students’ skills and a decrease in dropout rates.

Students in Henan Province, China, complete an assessment administered by REAP to evaluate their vocational training school.

Progress Report

Download this year’s progress report, read a letter from Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, and view reports from previous years. Learn more