When people gain new skills and knowledge, they can improve their lives.

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Workers enrolled in an e-learning program study in a computer lab at a factory in Shanghai, China.

We provide educational resources for workers throughout our supply chain - from training on their rights under the law to free college classes in language skills, computers, and other subjects. Workers also have the opportunity to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Highlights from our 2014 Report

Trained 1.5 million workers on their rights in 2013 and over 3.8 million since 2007.

Doubled the Supplier Employee Education and Development (SEED) program from 9 to 18 sites.

Provided free courses to more workers through
SEED — with over 280,000 participants in 2013.

View all 2014 highlights

Training workers and managers on responsible practices

To do business with Apple, our suppliers must live up to the toughest standards in the industry, and we make sure there’s no confusion about our expectations. We train factory supervisors how to meet the high bar we set, with instruction on communicating with workers, maintaining a safe and respectful workplace, and avoiding harassment.

It’s crucial that workers also understand their rights so they can speak up if they’re unsure about anything they see or if they believe their rights are being violated. We require training for new and existing employees about Apple’s Code of Conduct, local laws, and occupational health and safety.

Since 2007, more than 3.8 million workers and managers in our supply chain have received this training, including 1.5 million in 2013.

Participation in Workers’ Rights Training

  • Cumulative participation
  • Annual participation
  • 2K
  • 27K
  • 128K
  • 172K
  • 700K
  • 1.3M
  • 1.5M
  • 2K
  • 29K
  • 157K
  • 329K
  • 1.02M
  • 2.3M
  • 3.8M

Giving workers opportunities to learn.

As part of our Supplier Employee Education and Development (SEED) program, we have invested millions of dollars to equip classrooms on the factory grounds with computers, educational software, and video conferencing systems. Workers who want to expand their education can take courses free of charge before or after their factory shifts. The offerings are diverse: English, electrician and welder certification, basic computer proficiency, management principles, computer-assisted design, economics, cosmetology, and more. We also partner with local universities to give workers access to high school equivalency and advanced degree programs.

We doubled the facilities in our SEED program from 9 to 18 in 2013. Over 480,000 workers have taken classes through the program since 2008.

480,000 workers

Over 480,000 workers have participated in SEED since 2008, including 280,000 in 2013.

The EHS Academy: Building knowledge to build safer workplaces

To address the shortage of qualified environment, health, and safety (EHS) personnel, we launched the Apple Supplier EHS Academy (described in detail in Health and Safety). The 18-month Academy offers 25 courses for environment, health, and safety, and it includes general and customized classes in subjects such as hazards risk identification and assessment, fire safety, hazardous chemical management, industrial hygiene, ergonomics, personal protection equipment, and lockout tagout (LOTO) — a procedure related to isolation of hazardous materials and energy during maintenance and modifications. The Academy focuses on foundation setting, skill building, management, and leadership. Participants must choose and complete 19 courses. At the end of the program, participants are granted a certificate of completion. Participants are also required to apply their knowledge to create and implement real-time projects at their facilities. In 2013, more than 240 participants from over 60 supplier facilities — representing over 270,000 workers — enrolled in the Academy. We plan to expand the program in 2014.

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Workers attend a training session in a semiconductor plant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Making sure workers’ voices are heard

Workers have the right to an environment where they can voice their concerns freely and where managers and supervisors act on those concerns. That’s why our manager training programs offer guidance on fostering positive worker-manager communication. But we know that’s not enough. So we’re seeking new and more effective ways for workers to communicate grievances with their managers and for suppliers to address the feedback in a way that satisfies the workers’ needs. Suppliers representing nearly 105,000 workers are participating in these worker-manager communication programs and pilot assessments. Additionally, we’re continuing to participate in a multistakeholder program supported by the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, which allows us to collaborate with other companies to offer our supplier management teams and workers more tools and resources to strengthen grievance systems.