In December 2017, the Welsh Government announced its Action Plan for Welsh in education for the next four years. This Plan is one of a suite of action plans stemming from the Cymraeg 2050 strategy and it outlines how the Government intends to reach the goal of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
There are targets in the plan on increasing the numbers studying through the medium of Welsh and also it emphasises the importance of increasing the numbers and capacity of teachers to teach Welsh as a subject and medium.
Today we are publishing our Training Programme which lists the huge number of different corporate training we offer. There are courses on presentation skills and public speaking, training on managing people and projects, courses on what is value for money, or what about a course on governance and training for governors and Board members? All courses can be provided in English or Welsh. Also, there are many courses on Welsh language policy planning, conducting impact assessments and how to mainstream the Welsh language into decision making in your organisation.
An exciting, new Programme is underway and there are fabulous opportunities available to train and develop the Welsh language skills of the workforce, nationally. The new Work Welsh Programme is innovative and provides organisations with the opportunity to invest in their staff and improve services provided in Welsh.
The National Welsh Language Teaching Centre announced that RHD Consultancy is a recognised provider to deliver the training courses under the Programme. The Managing Director said, “We are very pleased to announce that RHD CONSULTANCY is one of the providers. We look forward to providing intensive courses in Work Welsh very soon. This is a golden opportunity to develop your workforce for free. I encourage all companies to take advantage of this excellent scheme. We look forward very much to providing excellent quality training that is completely tailored to work Welsh.”
What Welsh language skills are there in the workplace? Findings from Iaith ar Daith
Believe it or not, many staff have Welsh language skills in our workplaces. This was one of the main findings of our recent project on Welsh in the Workplace skills audits.
RHD Consultancy completed a project between December 2016 and March 217 assessing the language skills of staff in numerous workplaces across the public sector in Wales. Following the conducting of thorough skills assessments, the main purpose of the work was to present each workplace with a report on the language skills of its workforce across the 4 language skill categories of understanding, reading, writing and speaking.
From analysis of the data, here is a summary of the findings:
The majority of the workforce sampled had some Welsh language skills i.e. more staff assessments revealed language skills present that members of staff without any language skills in Welsh. Indeed, the majority of the workforce had some Welsh. This is interesting when the figures for the general population, measured in the Census, is lower.
The data showed that the majority were able to greet in a basic way in Welsh and that the majority of staff would be able to greet bilingually on the telephone, for example. This finding is very positive when considering the requirements of the new Welsh Language Standards wherein all staff in organisations in the public sector (and beyond) are required to greet in Welsh.
On the whole, the vast majority of the workforce was positive about the Welsh language and positive about the importance of providing services in Welsh to their customers.
In addition, many workers noted their interest in learning Welsh and developing their language skills for work purposes. Again, this finding is positive and demonstrates the potential for more Work Welsh Training programmes.
Interestingly, few had received training in Welsh in the workplace, and although they were interested in learning, few had firm plans to take the next step and start learning/ commence training.
The different language levels assessed can be seen in the chart, attached. Note the skills at Level 4 and 5 (advanced and higher) that were found. More were assessed at level (the highest) than any other level. Whilst positive, it must be acknowledged, that this is due to the sample. It is possible that the assessment exercise attracted workers with language skills and those wishing to improve their skills.
Based on the information collected, here is a summary of the recommendations to organisations:
Complete a thorough language skills audit which includes all 4 language skills and is based on the national/ internationally recognised levels.
Plan the language skills of your workforce just as you would plan any workforce strategies. Base your plans on solid data i.e. having completed a corporate skills audit, formulate a Language Training Strategy which will in turn, form the basis of your plan to provide language training for your staff.
Building on the skills already in the workforce, arrange training and simple guidance for staff on greeting in Welsh on the telephone and at reception etc and encourage the whole workforce to use the Welsh skills they have already e.g. by launching an internal Use your Welsh campaign.
Research the types of support that staff wish to have e.g. informal sessions, mentoring, text checking services, one to ones etc.
Seek advice on the training options that are most appropriate for those members of staff with Welsh language skills already. Investing in individuals with advanced language skills and tailoring training for them, can be better value for money than only providing courses for pure learning.
This paper was presented in order to note the amount of Welsh language skills already available in workplaces and to emphasise the importance of identifying and investing in the skills already in the workforce i.e. to build upon the skills and good will already in place.
If you would like further information or a conversation about language training and language planning, you are more than welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Methodology – The data was extracted from a sample of workplaces in the public sector across south Wales. It was a strategic sample and not a random one and therefore is not representative of the population. To respect the confidentiality of the project, the identity of the organisations are confidential and it is not possible to share data on these.
Following the Welsh Government’s announcement that additional funding of £3m is to be allocated to a new learning programme, the Welsh Language Teaching Centre is introducing a new pilot programme, Work Welsh. You will find more information on the programme here.
The aim of the programme is to offer opportunities to a range of workers in different sectors to learn and improve their Welsh language skills in order to use the language with confidence in the workplace and meet the business needs of their organisation.
Due to the introduction of the Welsh Language Standards and the evidence that providing services in Welsh is beneficial to companies, now is a great time to invest in workplace training.
The programme includes:
FREE On-line short courses to learn the basics of meeting and greeting
FREE Intensive courses available at all levels and across Wales
FREE 5-day residential courses to improve confidence
This project provides a unique and exciting opportunity to learn Welsh at work.
The Welsh Language Teaching Centre has published its strategy – the new national body that is leading the teaching of Welsh to adults.
Strategic Objective 1 Develop an innovative programme of attractive and suitable courses for learners making full use of the latest technology
Strategic Objective 2 Develop innovative schemes to secure opportunities and contexts where learners can use their Welsh with confidence
Strategic Objective 3 Establish a network of providers to offer a service of excellence
Strategic Objective 4 Raise the profile of the sector and increase the numbers who start courses and continue to learn Welsh
Strategic Objective 5 Establish and maintain service support procedures
For more information, please click on the strategy: http://dysgucymraeg.cymru/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/strategy-english-v.pdf
In response to the Strategy, Dr Rachel Heath-Davies is looking forward to seeing the new curriculum developments, welcomes the new course books and materials that are currently being authored, and is looking forward to the new Welsh in the Workplace Strategy. “As somebody who has had experience of developing training and Continuous Professional Development for tutors across the sector, nationally, I am looking forward to the new CPD Strategy.” Rachel also said that she acknowledged the challenges of increasing course contact hours and intensive provision and welcomes the developments.
YmgynghoriAITH provides significant amounts of language training and looks forward to the potential of collaborative working with the Centre in the future.
Today we have launched our Road Show across Wales. We are conducting Welsh Language Skills Audits for staff in organisations across the country to help support the Welsh Language Standards Action Plan. Our qualified and professional tutor will assess each member of staff seen in one day in accordance with the nationally recognised language skill levels. If you want to get involved, please get in touch with us to book an assessment
In December 2017, the Welsh Government announced its Action Plan for Welsh in education for the next four years. This Plan is one of a suite of action plans stemming from the Cymraeg 2050 strategy and it outlines how the Government intends to reach the goal of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050. There are targets in the plan [...]
Here is a link to the Welsh Government’s strategy to create a million Welsh speakers by 2050. Also found here is the Work Programme, or Action Plan, outlining how they aim to reach the target. http://gov.wales/topics/welshlanguage/welsh-language-strategy-and-policies/cymraeg-2050-welsh-language-strategy/?skip=1&lang=en
The Welsh Language Teaching Centre has published its strategy – the new national body that is leading the teaching of Welsh to adults. Strategic Objective 1 Develop an innovative programme of attractive and suitable courses for learners making full use of the latest technology Strategic Objective 2 Develop innovative schemes to secure opportunities and contexts where learners can use their [...]
The Chief Inspector’s Annual Report is published every January, and provides commentary and analysis on the performance of education and training in Wales during the previous academic year. Dr Rachel Heath-Davies, Managing Director of RHD Consultancy highlighted the findings in the report regarding, emphasising the need to support head teachers and leaders in education with developing strong leadership and management [...]
The Welsh Language Commissioner published this summary on the position of the Welsh language in August 2016. Half way between the two Censuses, it is a timely 5-year report. http://www.comisiynyddygymraeg.cymru/Cymraeg/Rhestr%20Cyhoeddiadau/Adroddiad%205%20Mlynedd%20crynodeb%20Gwefan.pdf
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The Welsh Language Commissioner is an independent body established by the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 to promote and facilitate use of the Welsh language. This includes raising awareness of the official status of the Welsh language in Wales, monitoring existing Welsh Language Schemes, and imposing Welsh Language Standards on organisations. The Welsh Language Commissioner is responsible for coordinating developments in Welsh language infrastructure [...]
A Measure of the National Assembly for Wales to make provision about the official status of the Welsh language in Wales; to provide for a Welsh Language Partnership Council; to establish the Office of Welsh Language Commissioner; to provide for an Advisory Panel to the Welsh Language Commissioner; to make provision about promoting and facilitating the use of the Welsh [...]