Empowering Workers

Education is always the first step towards change.

Factory workers in Shenzhen, China, attend a graphic design class as part of the Supplier Employee Education and Development (SEED) programme.

Apple offers educational programmes that help workers gain the skills they need to advance within the factory or transition to a completely new field. We also strive to help workers understand their rights as employees, and make sure they have avenues to speak up if they believe these rights are being violated.

Empowering Workers Highlights from Our 2015 Report

Trained 2.3 million workers on their rights in 2014, and over 6.2 million since 2007.

Launched a new mobile, app-based iPad education programme at 10 sites.

Expanded SEED participants by over 379,000 in 2014, totalling over 861,000 since 2008.

Creating an educated workforce.

All workers deserve to be treated with dignity. And we want every worker in our supply chain to know that it’s his or her right to work in a fair and ethical environment. That’s why our suppliers trained 2.3 million workers in 2014 — and more than 6.2 million since 2007 — to understand the Apple Code of Conduct, local laws, and health and safety regulations. We also provide educational resources to factory supervisors, training them on how best to communicate with their workers, uphold human resources policies and maintain a safe workplace.

Participation in Workers’ Rights Training

Cumulative participation
Annual participation
Workers study on iPad devices as part of the new SEED e-learning programme in Shenzhen, China.

Offering innovative learning tools.

While SEED began as an iMac-only programme, we feel it’s important to continually adapt our programmes to changing learning styles and technological advancements. So after reviewing worker feedback, we moved beyond the traditional classroom setting and launched an iPad-based learning programme at 10 facilities. Each one uses iPad devices preloaded with the latest educational apps. And all are set in café-style classrooms that promote a more casual and collaborative learning environment.

In 2014, we also piloted a mobile education programme. This new programme offers more than 70 courses that workers can access from their personal smartphones, and in iPad classrooms. Topics range from factory production skills to health, and even lifestyle-focused classes such as raising a family and navigating personal relationships. So far, we’ve seen high participation and deep interest in learning topics on the go. And we plan to double the number of participants in our iPad programme in 2015.