The latest discussion point of our consultation on Planning the Regeneration of the Welsh Language is Developing the Workforce.
As before, we would be very grateful to receive your comments, suggestions and any practical experience you may have. You are welcome to use the questions and template below or send your comments in any other format that suits you.
Below is a summary of Dyfodol’s demands in relation to the role of the workplace. If you would like to read the full text of Planning the Regeneration of the Welsh Language, a copy is available on our website, dyfodol.net
Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to our discussion. We look forward to hearing from you – do get in touch:
or telephone 01248 811798
DISCUSSION POINT 4: CREATING WELSH SPEAKERS – DEVELOPING THE WORKFORCE
Dyfodol believes that:
One significant challenge in education, and to which the response is at present insufficient, is developing the workforce, both teachers and classroom assistants, to undertake the work through the medium of Welsh and do so to a high standard. The only way of doing this is to release staff from their posts for extended periods, either to improve their language skills or to learn Welsh from scratch.
This is absolutely fundamental and there is no option but to invest heavily in this. Habe, the organisation responsible for this in Euskadi, has an annual budget of 40 million Euros. If we are serious about creating a million Welsh speakers, we need a comparable sum and to focus on two things:
- Workforce development, particularly teachers and classroom assistants
- Supporting parents whose children receive Welsh-medium education, particularly in the early years, who want to create Welsh-speaking homes to learn Welsh or develop their confidence in using it.
The effect of such investment would be cumulative: creating new Welsh speakers who in turn would produce a host of new speakers through the education and care sectors.
In addition to the above summary, Dyfodol have also written a paper on the Welsh language among the public sector workforce and in the workplace. We concluded that:
- We need to collect comprehensive data on the language skills of public sector staff.
- We need a clear policy aimed at providing an appropriate quota of Welsh language workers and workplaces.
- Establish a 10-year targeted programme for Welsh language skills within public sector workplaces.
- 4 local authorities to work, or set out a programme for internal, Welsh-language administration: Gwynedd (who currently do so), Ynys Môn, Ceredigion and Sir Gaerfyrddin.
- We must acknowledge the comparative strength of the language within different areas and set targets based on the percentage of Welsh speakers within these areas.
- Where it is not practical to aim for Welsh language administration, public sector organisations in those areas should adopt and promote the principle of welcoming and encouraging the Welsh language as a working medium and elevate and appreciate the language as a professional skill.
DO YOU AGREE WITH US? HAVE YOU ANY FURTHER COMMENTS ON THE ROLE OF THE WORKFORCE AND THE WORKPLACE IN REGENERATING THE WELSH LANGUAGE?