The further education sector is today celebrating Welsh Language Rights Day, an opportunity for public organisations across Wales to promote their Welsh language services and for Welsh speakers to be reminded of the services and opportunities that are available to them through the Welsh medium.
The FE sector is proud to embed the Welsh language in all we do and is committed to promoting the value of living, working and learning bilingually.
Cymraeg Gwaith ColegauCymru coordinates the Work Welsh FE project for the FE sector with funding from the National Centre for Learning Welsh. The aim of the project, which has been in place since 2017, is to develop the Welsh skills of lecturers and business support staff in FE colleges. This is a key focus for us as we work to provide Welsh medium and bilingual education opportunities in the post-16 sector.
Cymraeg Gwaith+ This year we’re piloting a new course which is designed to increase the confidence of those who would like to use their Welsh language skills in the workplace. Along with the Ganolfan’s ‘Codi Hyder’ course, a bespoke sector specific programme of guest speakers and one-to-one session with a tutor, this 35-hour course which takes place over a 10-week period is an exciting new development.
Further Education colleges in Wales are proud to support the Welsh Government vision of one million Welsh speakers by 2050 and as individual institutions, they are each subject to the Welsh Language Standards with an obligation to provide a Welsh Language service to both learners and staff. There is a growing network of bilingual staff who support the development of Welsh medium and bilingual provision across the colleges. These include staff who were initially appointed as part of the Welsh Government bilingual champions scheme, development officers funded by Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and teaching and lecturing posts supported by the FEIs and Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. The roles are varied but focus mainly on ensuring that learners beginning at college maintain their Welsh language skills, while also encouraging learners to build on skills needed for their chosen course. These staff promote not only the Welsh language, but also the Welsh community including the Urdd and volunteering opportunities.
Not only are the colleges offering the opportunity to study and present work in Welsh or bilingually, but there is also a clear focus on encouraging these options. Anna Davies, Bilingual Manager at Gower College Swansea noted that they have seen a clear increase in the number of learners who want to study and present their work through the medium of Welsh in the last few years. Take a look at this video which gives a taste of the ‘Welsh Welcome Day’ at Gower College Swansea: Diwrnod Croeso Cymraeg - Welsh Welcome Day - 2022
Promoting the Welsh Language in ColegauCymru
ColegauCymru is a proudly bilingual organisation. We’re committed to promoting the use of the Welsh Language in our day-to-day work. Here are some of the ways in which we achieve this.
Policy Work ColegauCymru ensures that the Welsh language is a key consideration in all our policy work and consultation responses.
Welsh Wednesdays A weekly opportunity for colleagues to come together to chat informally in Welsh, regardless of their language level.
Working Welsh Logo We include the Working Welsh logo and learner logo in the organisation’s website, email signatures and on correspondence so that our contacts know they can correspond with us in Welsh.
Staff Training We provide annual staff training to ensure that colleagues are aware of their individual responsibilities to comply with the Welsh Language Standards.
Nia Brodrick, Cymraeg Gwaith Project Manager
Lucy Hopkins, Communications Manager