A conference to make Welsh work

The First Minister of Wales and the Welsh Language Commissioner will be sharing a platform at a conference at Bangor University this week that will be looking at ways of encouraging the use of Welsh in the workplace.

On Friday 13 November, over 100 delegates from organisations and companies from across Wales will be attending the ‘Making Welsh Work’ conference that will focus on sharing examples of good practice when facilitating the use of the Welsh language at work.

Speakers from Gwynedd Council, National Resources Wales, Portmeirion and Bangor University itself will talk about initiatives and resources that have enabled employees to use their Welsh language skills at work and in doing so overcome some of the barriers created by work traditions and lack of confidence.

The organisers, Canolfan Bedwyr at Bangor University, hope that the conference’s focus on practical and innovative solutions will inspire further developments in this key area.

Professor John G Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University, will open the Conference. As someone who has learnt Welsh to an advanced level following his appointment, he illustrates the importance of language training in the workplace.

Professor Hughes said, "As a university that is situated in a Welsh-speaking heartland, we are committed to providing quality Welsh services to our students and the public in general, but we also believe in giving our staff every opportunity to use and develop their Welsh language skills in the context of their work. This approach creates a natural kind of bilingualism and a sense of ownership of the university’s bilingual ethos.”

In looking forward to delivering the conference’s keynote address, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones said: “This conference provides a welcome opportunity to focus on policies for promoting the use of Welsh at work and to share good practice and practical experiences. We know that practise and having sufficient opportunities to practise is key to language acquisition. What better place to provide those opportunities than daily at your work? This is a very timely conference and I'm looking forward to working with people from across many sectors in order to take this important agenda forward.”

Publication date: 9 November 2015