During a visit to the Coleg y Cymoedd Ystrad Mynach campus, local Member of the Senedd for Caerphilly, Hefin David, met learners taking advantage of the new Welsh medium and bilingual provision within the further education college supported by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.
With more than £160,000 invested in Coleg y Cymoedd by the Coleg Cymraeg over the last four years, Welsh medium and bilingual provision is now available to learners whatever their Welsh language skills in a number of fields such as Sport, Health and Social Care and Public Services.
Carys Roach, one of the Coleg y Cymoedd learners and an Ambassador for the Coleg Cymraeg said: "Being bilingual is special. Speaking to others who can speak Welsh is amazing and being able to continue to use my Welsh language skills in the college is really important to me. It’s so lovely meeting other people who can speak Welsh and also inspire others to learn. My favourite experience in the college is being a Coleg Cymraeg Ambassador and being able to share my love for the Welsh language with other like-minded people.”
Meeting the learners and staff, Hefin David MS said: “It is great to see Welsh Government funding for the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol having a clear impact in practice, on the ground. The Welsh-medium provision at Coleg Y Cymoedd has improved considerably as a result of the team’s dedicated work. The students I spoke with are very enthusiastic about the provision and I was delighted to hear that they are acting as ambassadors for the Welsh language on campus.”
The support of the Principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, Jonathan Morgan, and his senior team, has been vital to the success of establishing Welsh medium and bilingual provision. Jonathan Morgan said:“I was delighted to be able to welcome Hefin David to the college along with our partners from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. We at Coleg y Cymoedd are committed to the promotion and facilitation of the Welsh Language and continue to see new opportunities to ensure the language continues to grow and proper across each campus.”
Also was the Chair of the Coleg Cymraeg, Dr Aled Eirug. Talking about the importance of the Coleg’s work in the further education and apprenticeship sectors he said: “The government has identified the growth in bilingual skills across the public sector as a priority, especially in the fields of health and care and education, and the requirements set out in the Welsh Language Standards right across the economy mean that the demand for a bilingual workforce is increasing. It was fantastic to meet learners today who are benefitting directly from the investments and commitment of Coleg y Cymoedd and the Coleg Cymraeg and who are contributing to the aim of creating a bilingual workforce for the future.”
The Coleg's vision for the further education sector is to ensure that the Welsh language is accessible to all. To achieve this, a skills development model is being used to increase levels of awareness, understanding, confidence and fluency, which will lead to the upskilling of everyone in the sector.
To achieve this, the Coleg is working on:
- increasing the level of support for learners to use and develop their Welsh language skills within their chosen vocation;
- ensuring sufficient staffing capacity at a range of linguistic levels to support learners and apprentices;
- developing bilingual and Welsh-medium provision in colleges across the country; and
- ensuring sufficient resources and qualifications are available to support this learning through the medium of Welsh.
Employers also have a key role in identifying and creating the demand for Welsh language skills in workplaces.