Apple Releases Supply Chain Report, Launches $50M Education Fund for Workers

Workers at a Foxconn factory assembling Apple products.


Apple

Apple on Wednesday released its 2022 Annual Progress Report for its supply chain and said it’s launching a $50 million fund for supply chain workers. The Supplier Employee Development Fund will go toward helping workers develop career skills and supporting education initiatives, as well as workplace rights, Apple said Wednesday in a release

Apple’s supply chain comprises more than 3 million people across 52 countries, according to the annual progress report, which focuses on the company’s environmental initiatives, health and safety measures, and forced-labor prevention strategy. 

The report says Apple found eleven “core violations” of its Supplier Code of Conduct in 2021, with nine instances of suppliers falsifying records to cover up violations of working-hours limits, plus two instances of facilities requiring foreign contract workers to pay recruitment fees. This is a slight increase from the 10 core violations Apple reported for 2020, but it’s down from the 45, 29 and 18 it reported in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively

As for the new fund, the company predicts that over 100,000 employees in its supply chain will take advantage of its education programming by 2023, which will include coding and manufacturing classes, as well as technical certifications and leadership training. 

Apple will also work with the United Nations’ International Labour Organization and International Organization for Migration to implement programs and systems to bolster worker rights, the company said. 

Apple’s supplier plants have faced allegations of poor working conditions, though the iPhone maker says it’s committed to protecting workers at every level of its supply chain. Earlier this year, Apple said it ended relationships with 12 refineries and smelting companies over concerns the ore they sold was being used to finance armed conflicts.

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