While maintaining a healthy work/life balance is the ultimate goal for American workers – that balance is incredibly delicate and vulnerable. Fitting in reliable transportation, childcare, continuing education, and all of life’s other tiresome duties into a work schedule is nearly as stressful as a job itself. A broken-down car or a sick babysitter not only throws off the balance but can create a ripple effect of other consequences.
The same is true for apprentices, especially those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. That’s why Apprentix has built-in functionality to help businesses define wraparound services so apprentices can focus on graduating.
Definition of wrap around services
The definition of wrap around services varies depending on what each organization offers. Wrap around services can be programs that assist childcare, transportation, or food security. They can also be free or low-cost resources like therapy, utility payment assistance, or technical literacy classes.
While offering wrap around services is simply the right thing to do, they also play a vital role in graduating your apprentices. An apprenticeship is an investment that will lead to a full-time employee – so it’s in your best interest to ensure they have the tools they need to graduate.
An apprenticeship program is a two-way street; apprentices can only achieve their full potential if their basic needs are met.
Wraparound services examples
Various wraparound service options are available for your organization, depending on the needs of your apprentices and workers.
Wraparound mental health services
While many companies with full-time employees offer health insurance benefits, not all provide wraparound services for mental health. Why is this important? Studies have found that poor mental health contributes to employee turnover, job-related accidents, and lower productivity.
It’s important to establish open communication with apprentices and show them you value the work they do. Apprentices who are happy in the workplace are primed to learn and will retain more information. However, there’s only so much influence a workplace can have. Life inevitably gets in the way. By offering mental wellness programs such as subsidized costs for online therapy, you’re signaling to apprentices that you care about them and want them to stay.
Wraparound transportation services
Commuting is a huge challenge for many American workers, especially those who live in city centers but have jobs in the suburbs or areas without robust public transportation systems.
A Leadership Conference Education Fund report found that isolation from job growth also happens in suburbia. The growing population of lower-income suburbanites is also disconnected from new job growth, which takes place mostly in higher-income suburban areas.
Wraparound transportation services are key to making your apprenticeship program more equitable. Offering employee shuttles or stipends for busses, trains, taxis, or ride-share services is an excellent solution for apprentices who don’t have their own means of transportation. It also ensures they arrive to work on time and relieves the stress of having to pay out of pocket for their own travels.
Wraparound childcare services
In a 2022 Pew Research study, half of the working parents surveyed said handling child care and work was incredibly difficult. The cost of childcare is rising, and many young families do not have backup plans if their childcare falls through. Parents of children age five and under are spending an average of $14,117 on center-based child care, according to a U.S. Census Bureau study. That price tag is simply too high for many families – especially those from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Often young families, especially women, are forced to choose between spending money on childcare or leaving the workforce altogether due to high costs, limited availability, or inconvenient program hours.
There are many ways employers can offer wraparound child care benefits to help alleviate this stress:
Onsite childcare services
Flexible spending accounts for childcare costs
Flexible work schedules to accommodate childcare
Childcare center discounts and partnerships
Wraparound services benefits
By offering wraparound services to apprentices, you’re showing with your actions that you care about their success. In return, apprentices have less stress and are free to focus on performing well and completing their apprenticeship program. This is not only critical to your bottom line, but it also proves your organization walks the walk on DEI.
In other words, if you know an apprentice comes from a marginalized community that faces specific challenges, you have the knowledge you need to shift your program to alleviate stress from said challenge before it presents itself in the workplace. This proactive approach will draw in more talent from diverse communities, thus strengthening your workforce and propping up your company as a recognized leader in employee satisfaction.
Selecting wraparound services with Apprentix is easy. Learn how here.
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