All those applying for Welsh government jobs will need to have at least a ‘courtesy level’ of Welsh.
Staff will have to prove that they have the required skills upon appointment or within an agreed timeframe during their probationary period, which is usually six months.
This includes the ability to:
- pronounce Welsh words, names, place names and terms
- answer the phone bilingual, greet people or make bilingual presentations
- understand and proactively use everyday phrases and simple keywords related to the workplace
- read and understand short texts providing basic information, for example in correspondence, or to interpret content using available technology
- demonstrate knowledge of the language – this includes an appreciation of the importance of the language in society and an awareness of what is required to provide bilingual customer service.
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When announcing new jobs, the ads will no longer say ‘no Welsh skills required’ as this ‘no longer reflects the requirements or ethics of the organization’.
“This should be replaced, as a minimum requirement for all positions, with wording emphasizing that Welsh language skills are an asset for the Welsh government,” the document said.
Applicants for jobs will be informed that not having Welsh is not a ‘barrier’ to employment, but new employees will receive an introductory course.
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The Welsh government has released the ‘Cymraeg. It belongs to all of us’ strategy which lists what the institution will do to try and meet the goals of getting one million Welsh speakers by 2050. The document details plans for the five years to 2025 as a short-term goal to become a bilingual organization by 2050.
He says “we want and need more Welsh government staff to have Welsh skills that they can use in the workplace. This can be done in two ways: starting with existing staff to learn or to improving and recruiting more of those who already speak Welsh. skills. Both will be needed, because – most importantly – a lot of time and support to adapt. “
He also says senior officials will “be expected to lead by example.”
âThey will help others use, learn and improve their Welsh skills – and develop their own skills. Learning Welsh and making it easier for Welsh speakers to use in day-to-day work will be a business need across the organization, and line managers should adhere to this principle by showing personal leadership. “
In terms of recruiting new staff, he says there have been “only limited opportunities to recruit new staff and we don’t expect that to change significantly anytime soon,” but says the new staff will be “welcomed and supported to improve their Welsh skills”. .
A Welsh government spokesperson said: âWe are stepping up our Welsh recruitment requirements in line with our ‘Cymraeg: It belongs to us all’ strategy, which sets out our long-term plans to become a truly bilingual organization, in which everyone staff understands Welsh.
âAs part of the changes, we will encourage all new employees to demonstrate or learn a level of courtesy in Welsh, and will continue to encourage and support staff to learn Welsh through our extensive training program, which is available to all our employees. Between 2020 and 21, we saw a 44% increase in staff applications for weekly Welsh lessons. “
âRecruitment for our top management positions – such as the one currently underway to appoint a new permanent secretary – already underlines that we see the Welsh language as an asset. We will introduce further changes when we introduce a new recruitment system, and apply to new and vacant posts in the Welsh government, as well as to posts – such as commissioners – appointed by the Welsh government. “
Senedd Tory member Tom Giffard wrote on Twitter: âThe Welsh government is becoming a closed cabinet. I am proud to speak Welsh, but why exclude the 75% of people in Wales who do not work for the Welsh government? Shouldn’t we just name the best person for the job? “
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