ReSET: Recognise Strengths Engagement Tool

Working alongside organisations, employers and marginalised groups to recognise strengths developed through Lived Experience.
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What do we mean by Lived Experience?

Lived Experiences are the cultural and environmental factors that impact people who have navigated systems, processes and procedures outside their control. By doing so, they have acquired strengths that many people will never have to develop.

Our ambition at the City & Guilds Foundation is to support individuals to recognise these strengths, to highlight rather than hide them, and to use these skills to seize opportunities positively. Our work focuses on supporting people who are care experienced, prison leavers, and those with refugee status to recognise the skills they have gained through these lived experiences.

Why do we need to recognise the value of Lived Experiences?

Recognising strengths helps people to engage with opportunities positively, acknowledging what they already have, as well as what they can develop.

Last year, City & Guilds released its Youth Misspent report which uncovered young people’s challenges in today’s job market and identified the solutions needed to empower this generation to enter the workforce and play an essential part in the UK’s recovery story. The research found that young people who have faced additional challenges, such as young carers, care and prison leavers and those who come from less affluent families, are falling way behind their peers in the labour market at the earliest stage of their careers. The current system is baking in inequality and preventing millions of young people from meeting their potential.

There is a particularly strong feeling amongst those who have faced challenges, that young people should be allowed to use their life experiences as well as their career experiences on job applications. Employers should seek to broaden their horizons and ensure they are looking at the full potential of a candidate, not ruling anyone out due to the limitations they face in accessing relevant workplace experience.

Click here to read the
Youth Misspent Report

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. Cultivating and 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 alleviate the future skills shortage the country is facing.

Faiza Khan MBE

Director of Corporate Affairs and Foundation, City & Guilds

Recognise Strengths Engagement Tool (ReSET)

It is exactly this point that our ReSET tool is seeking to address. In line with the Foundation’s aims of supporting everyone to succeed and our broader City & Guilds values, we can help more people to recognise their strengths, progress in the world of work and ultimately achieve their potential. We also hope that employers will be more open to recognising a candidate’s strengths gained through life experience, in addition to their career experience.

The ReSET tool provides a matrix of different skills and attributes that people with a lived experience may have, but don’t know how they translate it into the world of work.

ReSET for people with refugee status

In line with the Foundation’s aims of supporting everyone to succeed, we can help more people with refugee status to recognise their strengths, progress in the world of work and achieve their potential.

The Launchpad Collective logo

The ReSET tool provides a matrix of different skills and attributes that people with refugee status might have but don’t know how to translate for work.

To date, this includes nine attributes: determination, perserverance, growing in self-belief, kindness & empathy, advocacy, communication, adaptability, resilience and creativity.

Our partners The Launchpad Collective have contributed to this section. They are experts at helping to empower refugees to unlock their potential so they are able to contribute in a meaningful way. Find out more about The Launchpad Collective here.

So often what holds us back in life is fear: of failure, 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. A valuable talent pool ready to help your business succeed.

Summerly Devito

Cofounder & Director, The Launchpad Collective

Determination

Overcoming barriers to build a new life

Mahmoud

"As a person who went through many difficult times and many changes to my life, from being displaced inside my country, then fleeing to another country and then arriving here. I've always been able to start again, always had the power to find a new job, new friends and a new way of life. I found that determination is always what helps me tackle any barriers that could stop me achieving my goals."

Perseverance

Navigating difficult systems and processes

Salwa

“Life amazed me with its surprises between sadness and joy... pain and hope... life and death.
I have faced many challenges and barriers but they did not discourage me. Instead this was a reason for one success after another.
I get up again and always look for the best to build bridges in my life.”

Growing in self-belief

Believing in a better future

Osamah

“My life has been a constant struggle, full of challenges and obstacles. Despite the hardships, I have learned to believe in myself. Believing in yourself is the key to unlocking your true potential. When you have faith in your abilities, you can push yourself to new heights and achieve things you never thought possible. Without self-belief, you will always hold yourself back. Believe in yourself and watch the magic unfold.”

Kindess & Empathy

Immersing in a new culture

Hamid

“The world is full of various laws, principles, orders and regulations. I learnt to be flexible and adaptable, I learnt to create my own ways based on new requirements and rules. It opened me a new gate toward a new world which I didn't belong to, but I adapted myself to it. Now I am strong enough to adjust my life and myself to any new circumstances.”

Advocacy

Sharing your story about starting again

Sofi

“From the first day of the war I told myself that I would help Ukraine and my people as much as I could. I have already participated in 6 charity concerts and raised funds for our army and refugees. I will keep doing it! I will sing, speak and tell the world what is happening in my country. I want to be useful!”

Communication

Using a second language

Wafa

“Speaking other languages allows us to transcend borders. This is a strength we had to learn on our own journey to survive the war.
Additionally, I have discovered the importance of languages in bridging gaps between human feelings and needs. By building on our language skills we can make ourselves more useful and can connect and integrate our communities.”

Adaptability

Immersing in a new culture

Hamid

“The world is full of various laws, principles, orders and regulations. I learnt to be flexible and adaptable, I learnt to create my own ways based on new requirements and rules. It opened me a new gate toward a new world which I didn't belong to, but I adapted myself to it. Now I am strong enough to adjust my life and myself to any new circumstances.”

Resilience

Carrying on, even when it felt impossible

Medya

“I would like my future employer to know that I am a very flexible & resilient person.
My life has not been easy. I had to face many challenges. It was not easy to start a new life in a place with different systems from what I was used to in my home country, but I could overcome that.
That makes me confident that no matter what obstacles come in the future I will be fine.”

Creativity

Finding new ways to live

Bella

“We live in a world where there is no such thing as impossible. If we believe in ourselves we can move forward.
As long as we are alive, we have the ability to change everything, even the world. Always there is a way.
I can now live with freedom to finally be myself, celebrating who I am and having the opportunity to express myself in a new community.”

Make a pledge to support people with lived experience and receive a digital credential

ReSET for life after Prison

In line with the Foundation’s aims of supporting everyone to succeed, we can help more people with refugee status to recognise their strengths, progress in the world of work and achieve their potential.

St Giles logo

The ReSET tool provides a matrix of different skills and attributes to support life after prison, that people might have but don’t know how to translate for work.

To date, this includes nine attributes: determination, perserverance, growing in self-belief, kindness & empathy, advocacy, communication, adaptability, resilience and creativity.

Our partners St Giles Trust have contributed to this section. They are experts at helping to empower refugees to unlock their potential so they are able to contribute in a meaningful way. Find out more about St Giles here.

Determination

Changing your life for the better

Determination

In the criminal justice system determination is not a choice you’ve got to carry on, you’ve got to keep going because you have no other option. It could be around child custody or pending cases, without being determined you would give up. Then when you leave prison it doesn’t matter what had happened, or what other people said, you have to be determined not to end up in prison again. To prove everyone wrong and carry on and live your life. To be determined that a conviction does not define you.

Perseverance

Finding new opportunities and ways to live

Perseverance

You have to persevere with what you might have given up on. This perseverance comes from you but somebody else can also give you a little nudge in the right direction. It’s like running a marathon, you've got the people that are watching you run, and they're cheering you on and they're encouraging you, but you yourself are the one that's running. You fight for your rights, for something that is that is real, that you believe is your right to have.

Growing in self-belief

Understanding your value

Growing in self-belief

We've had a lot of people telling us we are useless and will never amount to anything. That we can't do things because of past experiences, things that we've done. When you've been told that for a lot of years that becomes instilled in the brain that I'm worthless, I can't do anything. So that self belief isn't there. When you come out of custody, there is a massive amount of self doubt, but through joining the right services self belief can grow and be acquired again.

Kindness & Empathy

Knowing you deserve a chance

Empathy

Empathy is seeking to understand that although people can be from any kind of background, it doesn't matter because you're all thrown into one place together. When you are in custody you are forced to mix with people that perhaps on the outside world, you would not have anything to do with. When it comes to the workplace that's why it's important to have people with lived experience. Because you can't say we're inclusive yet exclude them, when it's about them. Empathy helps you realise that.

Advocacy

Telling people who you are and what you can do

Advocacy

We have to be an advocate for ourselves, as well as being an advocate for others. It doesn’t mean you can’t speak for yourself, sometimes it’s just that you might not have the right vocabulary, or articulation of speech in that way. We are a sum total of our experiences. So if you have lived experience of the criminal justice system when you are speaking to other people that have been in that position, or want to work with those in that position, you're able to help give them some insight.

Communication

Finding new ways to connect

Communication

You have to learn to communicate with different people. To understand the power of your own voice, to put forward your opinions and not listen when others tell you, you are wasting your time. Just because you don’t articulate yourself in the same way it doesn’t mean your opinion is not valid. In prison there can be a whole different language, a different way of communicating you need to understand. You learn how to communicate in the most challenging of circumstances.

Adaptability

Living in a difficult environment

Adaptability

Everything you had before is taken away from you because of your conviction. You have to adapt on many different levels, to be away from your family, your home and job. It's a different environment altogether. You have to get used to the sounds, the person you share a cell with, the people on the wings, the officers - there are so many different things. your body is contained but you don’t have to be shut off in your mind.

Resilience

Dealing with setbacks and carrying on

Resilience

You have to be resilient to survive the ordeal you are experiencing, it isn’t a choice, it’s the only option available because of the situation you are in. You have to keep going, even when you are pushed back, again and again. You have to not let it bruise you emotionally. Sometimes people don’t have the resilience and strength to cope with being in custody. So when you do, it is a strength, one which you have had to learn.

Creativity

Thinking differently about what you can do

Creativity

In custody you have very limited resources and you have to be creative and resourceful. For example cutting hair with nail clippers. You learn that necessity is the mother of inventions. Creativity comes out because of the situation you are in. You have to find different ways to get to the result that you want because there are barriers to the usual way you might do something, so you become more creative.

Make a pledge to support people with lived experience and receive a digital credential

How can you help?

We are working to identify strengths gained through lived experience for marginalised people through awareness-raising campaigns and recognition of good practice.

Make a pledge

We are asking for providers to use our new ReSET tool with clients, for employers to pledge their support for and use it as part of their recruitment processes, and for individuals to share their feedback and stories.

ReSET Lived Experience Supporter Digital Credential

As the recession takes hold in 2023, we must empower all people to enter the workforce regardless of their journey to get there. Everyone should have the same, and equal, opportunity to use their skills, strengths, and talents to play their part in economic recovery.

Fill in the form below with your pledge and we will send you a digital credential. You can find out more about this digital credential on the Credly website credly.com/org/city-guilds-foundation/badge/reset-recognising-all-strengths

Additionally you can opt-in to hear more from the City & Guilds Foundation by signing up for our newsletter to stay up to date with latest news and events.

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