TO coincide with St David’s Day, Cardiff Council has published details of a new plan to offer free Welsh language courses to all its staff, covering all abilities, and the diverse range of services provided by the local authority.
The plan forms part of a new Welsh Language Skills Strategy, which aims to bring together staffing, training and recruitment procedures.
Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said:
“The ability to speak Welsh can be hugely beneficial in terms of career and employment prospects, with more and more employers in Cardiff, and across Wales, keen to recruit staff able to work in both languages. But the benefits go far beyond that – it’s a skill that also opens the door to a vibrant and thriving culture, learning a language creates a sense of wellbeing, belonging and of feeling connected.
“This St David’s Day we are re-emphasising our commitment to making the Council an increasingly bilingual workplace, and helping to increase the number of bilingual speakers in Cardiff – that is already happening, but we want to go further on our journey to becoming a truly bilingual Capital city.
“We are an organisation that values and supports the use of Welsh, both formally and socially, among our staff. We aim to foster a bilingual ethos, and a workplace, where staff feel supported to use their Welsh language skills in all contexts. Proficiency in multiple languages is an important business skill and it supports the provision of high-quality services to the people of Cardiff. Surprisingly perhaps, there are also potential health benefits – research has shown that bilingualism and multilingualism are beneficial in terms of mental health, and may delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“We, therefore, want all our staff, wherever they work in