At the National Eisteddfod today (Tuesday 6 August), the Welsh Language Commissioner will lead a discussion about how public organisations treat the Welsh language and develop a bilingual workforce.
The discussion coincides with the publication of 'Rights in Use', a report which includes statistics on how often services are available in Welsh, the quality of those services, and which language people want to use when dealing with public organisations.
• 37% of people believe that the opportunities to use Welsh are increasing
• People can be confident they can receive written services and services that can be planned in Welsh, for example Welsh can be seen on 93% of signs, 82% of automated telephone information is available in Welsh, and 81% of correspondence written in Welsh received a response
• Personal or time sensitive services don’t fare as well, for example 52% of Welsh language telephone enquiries were dealt with fully in Welsh, and 46% of reception enquiries
• In response to an opinion poll, 33% of the public said they would like to use the Welsh language when dealing with public organisations.
The Welsh Language Commissioner, Aled Roberts, said:
“I want to understand what organisations need to do to increase the use of Welsh language services
"Efforts have been made over the past few years to increase the provision of Welsh language services, with the Welsh language standards creating stronger rights for people to use Welsh. As the statistics show, a lot of work remains to be done before Welsh speakers can be fully confident that services will be available in Welsh without fail.
"Organisations need to improve the ease with which Welsh language services are available to the public. Are they available without people having to ask for them? Are they understandable and clear? And are organisations doing enough to promote them? "
Teresa Owen from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Meic Raymant from North Wales Police and Dafydd Trystan from Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol will join Aled Roberts in the discussion and consider what practical steps need to be taken to improve the provision so that more people use Welsh language services. A key part of this will be to develop a bilingual workforce.
Click here to read ‘Rights in Use’. The report offers practical ideas about how organisations can improve their internal processes to ensure compliance, make sure they have enough staff who are able to offer Welsh language services and motivate people to use them.
The Commissioner will hold a series of workshops in the autumn to give organisations the opportunity to share ideas and successful practice about how to provide and promote Welsh language services.