Alun Davies, Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language
The ambition of this government is to have one million Welsh speakers by 2050. In line with our shared ambition with Plaid Cymru we are providing an additional £5m to see the Welsh language used more extensively and to encourage more people to speak Welsh.
I’m pleased to announce today that £3m of this new investment will be allocated to the National Centre for Learning Welsh in order to improve and increase Welsh in the workplace provision in Wales.
The main focus will be on ensuring that there are opportunities for individuals to learn Welsh, in the public sector in the first instance, concentrating on intensive learning.
This investment will enable the National Centre for Learning Welsh to provide practical support to bodies, putting them in a better situation to comply with the Welsh language standards. There are currently 80 bodies that come under the standards system, and that number will increase over the next months and years. The core aim of the standards is to provide more Welsh language services to people in Wales, and to ensure that those services are of a high quality. Improving the Welsh language skills of the current workforce and encouraging more workers to learn Welsh is essential to ensure the success of the standards system.
As noted in the draft Welsh Language Strategy, we need to get to a position where the Welsh language is a perfectly natural element of all aspects of everyday life. If we want to achieve that, enabling people to use the language in their workplace, along with ensuring that the public have access to Welsh language services is essential. This innovative plan will enable us to make progress, and I’d encourage all public sector bodies in Wales to contact the National Centre for Learning Welsh to ensure that they can take advantage of this new provision.
This is an exciting period for the Welsh language and together, we can grow the Welsh language and create a truly bilingual Wales.