Opening doors with Welsh language skills


Students from Cardiff's three Welsh-medium secondary schools will attend a special careers fair next week to highlight the value of Welsh language skills and promote opportunities to study and work in Welsh.


Over 300 young people in Year 12 at Ysgol Glantaf, Ysgol Plasmawr and Ysgol Bro Edern will have the chance to find out about further education and career prospects, and to learn about the value of those skills to future employers in the event which has been organised by the Council's Bilingual Cardiff Partnership Forum.


As well as Cardiff Council itself, a range of employers will be there from a variety of sectors including Welsh Parliament, S4C/ Boom Cymru, Rent Smart Wales, Welsh Government, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, Mudiad Meithrin and the Wales Millennium Centre. The presentations, by a range of partner organisations, will promote the wide range of options for school leavers to use their Welsh language skills in further education, apprenticeships and all manner of work opportunities through the medium of Welsh.


The event, the first of its kind in Cardiff, will be opened by Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas who will emphasize the wealth of opportunities that exist for Welsh speakers after leaving school, and the importance of encouraging Welsh speakers to stay in Wales to progress their careers, which will contribute to the national goal of achieving one million Welsh speakers by 2050.


Cllr Thomas said: "The ‘Gyrfa Gymraeg' (Welsh Career) fair seeks to show young people, many of whom are on the brink of deciding which future career they would like to pursue, how important Welsh language skills are in the world of work.  Being able to understand and speak Welsh is a huge advantage in a number of various fields and these skills are becoming increasingly more valuable to employers.


"As a Council, we understand that to achieve our ambition of creating a truly Bilingual Capital City, we need to promote and embed a bilingual ethos within our own workforce by improving and increasing opportunities for using Welsh within the Council, as well as working with other employers in the city to do the same within their own organisations.


"I'm extremely proud that more pupils in Cardiff are being educated through the medium of Welsh right now than ever before but it's essential that young people have opportunities to use their Welsh after leaving school so that remaining in Wales and using those skills is an attractive prospect.


"We hope this event will give students food for thought as they consider what to do next after school and with the partnership forum, we intend to grow the event each year so young people appreciate the value of their skills and understand how Welsh can really open doors for them."


The Council's vision is to create a truly Bilingual Cardiff, to see the Welsh language grow, and to create more opportunities to use, hear and see the Welsh language, includingwithin its internal administration through its Bilingual Cardiff: Bilingual Council policy.


There are now around 900 Council staff who speak Welsh - a figure which has doubled in the past two years - and around 200 staff received Welsh language training last year alone. The authority has a statutory requirement under the Welsh Language Standards to provide services in Welsh and has been commended by the Welsh Language Commissioner in recent years for its exemplary approach in the implementation of its Bilingual Cardiff Strategy.


The Gyrfa Gymraeg Careers Fair will be held at City Hall on Monday, March 2. Following presentations, students will have the opportunity to visit the ‘marketplace' and meet a range of further education providers and prospective employers as well as hearing from a number of bilingual private sector employers in the Capital who see the economic value of employing staff who can provide services bilingually.