During 2015-16, the Senior Management Team and Corporate Board approved the College’s Welsh Language Skills Strategy. The process of implementing the Strategy commenced in July 2016 and the first step was to ask every manager and head of academic school to complete a language skills audit for each job role within their area.

In December 2016, RHD was commissioned to work with the HR Department of the College in order to provide independent support on reviewing and validating the audit results from each manager.

The advice received was wise, balanced and invaluable in terms of:

  • confirming that the college was on the right track with regard to recruitment and staff development;
  • identifying the language skills levels appropriately and correctly in relation to the wide range of different job roles and functions across the organisation;
  • formulating plans for, and identify roles where Welsh language skills were essential or desirable in order to be able to deliver services in Welsh fully;
  • framing the needs of the organisation’s language skills within the new statutory context facing the college when implementing the ‘Standards’ approach from March 2018 onwards;
  • identifying and planning for the future.

Following the advice received from RHD, the college has held face to face interviews with numerous key managers and has started advertising vacancies including far more comprehensive descriptions of the language skills necessary to perform the job role.

We recommend the company because:

  • RHD’s understanding of the implications of the Welsh Language (Wales) 2011 Measure, the Welsh Language Commissioner’s regulatory role and the responsibilities on organisations in the public sector to comply with the new Welsh Language Standards;
  • RHD’s expertise and experience in the field of language planning and bilingual workforce planning.

Robin Gwyn, Director of Bilingualism, Neath Port Talbot College Group.