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New toolkit launched to boost refugee employment opportunities

New toolkit launched to boost refugee employment opportunities

City & Guilds Foundation launches a new toolkit on World Refugee Day to boost the employment prospects of candidates facing barriers to the workplace such as refugees, ex-prisoners and NEET young people

The City & Guilds Foundation is launching its ‘Recognise Strengths Engagement Tool’ (Re:SET), today – World Refugee Day: an initiative which aims to boost the employment prospects of applicants from marginalised and challenging social backgrounds, such as refugees, who possess a wealth of workplace experience and life skills, that are at risk of not being recognised in the UK. 

The Re:SET toolkit is designed to support job applicants from marginalised backgrounds into employment by helping them to recognise the valuable skills they possess thanks to their own life experience, communications skills and personal strengths that could be useful to employers.  

The toolkit could be used by, for example, ex-offenders or who have arrived in the UK as refugees, to help them recognise the valuable skills they do have that employers would value, and ultimately, help them find work. 

City & Guilds Foundation is launching Re:SET, in partnership with three other charities, working to support vulnerable people from marginalised communities: St Giles Trust and refugee charity, The Launchpad Collective.  

The purpose of Re:SET is also to help employers tackle staff shortages and eliminate skills gaps in their business by identifying new recruits with the desired skills. By using Re:SET, employers will learn how their business performance could be enhanced and enriched by acquiring the life skills of people from marginalised and challenging social backgrounds. 

When recruiting staff, Re:SET encourages employers to look beyond candidates’ previous work experience and academic qualifications to place equal value on the skills their life has equipped them with. 

Faiza Khan MBE, Director of Corporate Affairs and Foundation, City & Guilds, said:

“Emotional intelligence – determination, adaptability, creativity and communication- are all behavioural attributes that are arguably just as essential to the smooth running of a business, as technical experience. 

“We hope that our Re:SET toolkit will not only boost the confidence of applicants from marginalised backgrounds by allowing them to recognise the value of their own skills, but also encourage employers to recruit more candidates with skills derived from lived experience to fill critical gaps in their workforce. 

“Supporting the diverse array of life skills and emotional intelligence possessed by people from challenging backgrounds and helping them into employment now, is vital if we are going to combat the future skills shortage the country is facing.” 

For more information, or to submit an expression of interest, please visit.

Summerly Devito, Cofounder & Director at The Launchpad Collective said: 

“So often what holds us back in life is fear, of failure and of the unknown.  If you’re a refugee you’ve already done something incredibly brave and frightening.  Your journey to get where you are today required ingenuity, courage, resilience and determination.  

“We know that businesses and employers need successful, multi-talented people to work for them. Refugees are multi-talented people, who know what it’s like to achieve what they want, even when they were scared. They represent a valuable talent pool, ready to help your business succeed.”

Case Study

Kotaiba Al Abdullah, Syrian Refugee living in the UK 

“My name is Kotaiba Al Abdullah, and I run a charity in Jordan called ‘Acting for Change International’, which supports Syrian refugees like myself. I also work as Operations Lead at The Launchpad Collective (TLC). 

I currently live in Kent but I am originally from Syria have been resident the UK for nearly six years. Prior to coming to the UK, I spent around four years in Jordan after the war started in Syria. 

In Syria, I worked in the tourism field, which was also my area of study. During my time in Jordan, I continued working in the tourism field as a freelance translator for journalists. 

During this period, I also started my own non-profit organization that supports Syrian refugees in Jordan, which I am still involved in. 

When I first arrived in the UK, I began volunteering with various charities while starting to buy and sell second-hand items. This experience motivated me to explore opportunities for employment. I obtained my driving license and began working as a delivery driver for companies like Amazon and in the food delivery sector. 

Later, I accepted the offer of a full-time job as a Shop Manager and Middle East Operations Lead at RefugEase charity. 

During a Zoom meeting with TLC’s founder and a few others to discuss a collaborative project with RefugEASE, the charity I was working for, I learned about the services offered by TLC.

I became interested in their work and subsequently sought a job opportunity.I connected with TLC as a client to see if they could help me to get a job opportunity with them. To my surprise, they offered me a position on their team. 

Since then, I have been working with TLC, gaining valuable knowledge about the work environment in the UK. 

I believe that Re:SET will greatly benefit me and others in a similar position, by instilling a sense of pride and confidence when seeking employment. 

The new toolkit helps to showcase an individual’s true self and allows our clients to derive significant advantages from it.”

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