The Chair of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol has welcomed the announcement by the Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, today (Wednesday)
that the Government will be investing an additional £800,000 through the Coleg during the 2021-22 financial year to implement elements of the Welsh-medium Further Education and Apprenticeships Action Plan launched by the Minister.
The Action Plan was launched in 2019 as part of the Welsh Government’s policy to create a million people who speak and use the Welsh language by 2050 and the responsibility for implementing the strategy was given to the Coleg Cymraeg.
Since launching the Plan the Coleg has worked effectively with its partners and has firm foundations in place in order to realise the Government’s commitment to increase Welsh-medium and bilingual provision in the sector, however at the moment, only a small percentage of staff within further education colleges and in the apprenticeship sector are able to speak Welsh, and an even smaller percentage are able to teach through the medium of Welsh. As a result, only a very limited number of courses are available to learners in Welsh or bilingually.
The additional budget of £800,000 from the Government will enable the Coleg to work with the post-16 sector to begin to increase bilingual capacity, including in the priority areas of health and care, childcare and public services.
Welcoming the announcement, Gareth Pierce, Chair of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol said:
“Ensuring that linguistic progression pathways are available to young people as they leave school and prepare for the world of work is vitally important as we plan to reach the target of creating a million people who speak and use the Welsh language. This additional funding announced by the Education Minister today is a step towards ensuring an increase in the Welsh-medium and bilingual provision in our further education colleges in order to support people to feel more confident using the Welsh language when they join the workplace.
“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, for her vision and support towards the Welsh-medium and bilingual agenda in the post-16 sector during her term as Minister and we would like to wish her every success after May.”
Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said:
“I’m determined that we increase the opportunities for more people to learn and work bilingually at all levels of education, from the youngest children to adults.
“It’s been a priority for me to increase the availability of Welsh-medium and bilingual further education in particular, so I’m pleased the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol will be continuing its good work to enable more students, trainees and staff to use Welsh.”