Apple CEO Tim Cook hails ‘vibrant’ UK tech scene on visit to London Catholic primary school

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has said his company is committed to investing in the “vibrant” UK tech economy.

The Apple boss was speaking on a visit to St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Battersea, south-west London – close to the firm’s new UK headquarters at Battersea Power Station – where the company has partnered with the school as part of its Community Education Initiative, providing free coding and creativity resources to schoolchildren.

The company revealed on Thursday that it now supports more than 550,000 jobs across the country through direct employment and other means, and has a new office in Cambridge where several hundred staff are working on AI, machine learning and other projects.

Earlier on Thursday the technology giant said it had spent nearly £16 billion with hundreds of companies of different sizes across the country over the last five years, and Mr Cook said the UK was “deeply embedded” within Apple.

“It’s our third largest employee population around the world from a country point of view. It’s also the leading developer community for Europe and it’s as vibrant as ever before, it’s dynamic,” he said.

Asked if the current trend around artificial intelligence tech meant Apple would look to further its investment in that area in the UK, Mr Cook told the PA news agency: “We’re hiring in that area, yes, and so I do expect it (investment) to increase.

“AI is all over our products today – it’s behind the Fall Detection on the (Apple) Watch, it’s behind Crash Detection, it’s behind Afib (atrial fibrillation) detection, it’s behind the ECG, it’s predictive typing on iPhone… it’s literally everywhere on our products and of course we’re also researching generative AI as well, so yes we have a lot going on.”

Following his visit to St Mary’s Mr Cooke said: “At Apple, we want to invest in the communities we operate in, and that’s one of the many reasons we’re proud to support St Mary’s.

“I Really enjoyed my visit there today, and loved seeing what students are creating on iPad.”

Pic courtesy Tim Cook