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Basic Welsh skills shouldn’t be a requirement for government jobs, say Tories

12 Jul 2021 2 minutes Read
Clwyd West and Aberconwy Count for the National Assembly Election 5 May 2016. Darren Millar (middle) and Janet Finch-Saunders (left); both elected as Conservative AMs. Picture by Llywelyn2000 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Basic Welsh language skills should not be a requirement for government jobs, the Tories have said.

The Welsh Government has said people will need a “courtesy” level of basic Welsh in order to get jobs with it in future, and the Welsh Conservatives have hit out at a move.

Candidates will be expected to show the skills either on appointment or within six months of recruitment, which include answering the phone bilingually, and pronouncing and understanding simple words.

The Conservatives cited the pandemic as a reason for being against the change, saying the priority “should be recruiting the best person for the job” at a time of “national recovery”

The move is part of the Welsh Government’s 2050 plan, which aims to increase the number of Welsh speakers to one million, and includes civil servants being able to understand the language.

Job adverts for civil servants working in its administration will no longer say Welsh language skills are not required, but instead that it will be “desirable, essential or to be taught on the post” for every vacancy or new post.

‘Significant change’ 

The Welsh Government has called it a “significant change” to its recruitment policies, as part of an aim to become bilingual.

A Welsh Conservative spokesperson told BBC Wales that the party was “committed to delivering one million Welsh speakers, but at a time of national recovery, the Welsh government’s priority should be recruiting the best person for the job”.

“Currently a large majority of people in Wales – nearly three-quarters – do not speak Welsh, but that shouldn’t prohibit them from working in the civil service and contributing to Welsh public life.”

Courtesy-level Welsh is defined as an ability to:

  • Pronounce Welsh-language words, names, place names and terms
  • Answer the phone bilingually, greet people or make introductions bilingually
  • Understand and use proactively everyday expressions and simple key words
  • Read and understand short texts providing basic information, for example in correspondence, or to interpret the content using technology
  • Demonstrate language awareness – which includes an appreciation of the importance of the language in society and an awareness of what is required to provide bilingual customer service
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Roderich Heier
Roderich Heier
11 days ago

Surely ‘the best person for the job will be the person who has these language skills in addition to any other requirements.

William Glyn THOMAS
William Glyn THOMAS
11 days ago

Conservatives need to do a five year course at a “Charm School” so that they can show respect to anyone who is different to them in race, colour or linguistic skills.

hdavies15
hdavies15
11 days ago

“Basic Welsh language skills should not be a requirement for government jobs, the Tories have said.” I would have been shocked had they said anything else. There are people in that party who appear to have been preprogrammed to dissent on anything to do with the very existence of the Welsh language.

Bruce
Bruce
11 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

And the very existence of Wales.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
11 days ago

Of course, given their British nationalism credentials, they don’t want to see any move that elevates the status of Welsh language and Welsh culture in public life.

Mar k
Mar k
11 days ago

Surprised it’s not a requirement already.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 days ago
Reply to  Mar k

Yes it is shocking it has taken this long, long over due.

John
John
10 days ago
Reply to  Mar k

It is in Gwynedd and Conwy

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 days ago
Reply to  John

Da iawn 😊

Carol Loughlin
Carol Loughlin
11 days ago

It’s very clear that the Tories prefer discourtesy.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
11 days ago

Basic human empathy skills should be a requirement for elected office.
Epic fail by all Tories?

Chris
Chris
11 days ago

Of course the Tories wouldn’t want to have MPs with Welsh skills. Since half of them are English and would prefer to wipe out Welsh altogether

Gareth
Gareth
11 days ago

What would the Tory response be, if a group of people in England proposed that a basic knowledge of English would not be required for a job in the English civil service, or any Gov dept. Outrage ,would be putting it mildly . Do these people not accept that Welsh people do speak Welsh, in their own country, and would like to communicate in this language in everyday life.

j humphrys
j humphrys
10 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Actually, France has now come out with ” English has no legitimacy in Europe”.
Source: Outside Views, You Tube..

CapM
CapM
10 days ago
Reply to  j humphrys

“France”! or is it – some people in France have the view that…

I think that according to EU ‘rules’ technically English should no longer be one of the working languages of the EU however for pragmatic reasons I don’t see the EU downgrading it. English may only be an official language in Rep of Ireland and Malta but it’s the second language in many EU states and for a large majority of EU citizens.

j humphrys
j humphrys
10 days ago
Reply to  CapM

I have given the source.

Vaughan
Vaughan
11 days ago

Pretty minimal requirements really.
Not asking a lot.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 days ago
Reply to  Vaughan

Yes and long over due.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
11 days ago

“Currently a large majority of people in Wales – nearly three-quarters – do not speak Welsh…”

Am I missing something here?

Welsh has been taught in Welsh schools for many years so everybody who has been educated in Wales should have at least these very basic Welsh language skills already.

If they haven’t got them, then they obviously didn’t listen in school and are therefore not the, to quote, “best person for the job.”

Last edited 11 days ago by Mr Williams
Shan Morgain
10 days ago

I’m sure the Tories want English government employees to demonstrate courtesy level English in their work? If I’m in England I certainly expect government and council employees to be able to speak with me to a level of basic English. Same in any other country, French in France etc.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 days ago

The Tories would say that wouldn’t they as they are the anti-Welsh party. Being the best person for the job would include having language skills.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 days ago

Being the best person for the job would include having language skills in both official languages 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

In fact it is about time and hardly asking too much. Imagine someone trying to get such a job in England without speaking English.

ShamblesWales
ShamblesWales
10 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

Well being as though English is the official language of the uk… imagine someone making comments which are unfounded…

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 days ago
Reply to  ShamblesWales

English and Welsh are both official languages in Wales, but there is no official language in England. I don’t know what is the legal status of English is in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Last edited 10 days ago by Stephen Owen
Chris
Chris
10 days ago
Reply to  ShamblesWales

“ Well being as though English is the official language of the uk”
With strangulated grammar like that, you wouldn’t know it.
English is AN official language of the UKBIN. So is Cymraeg.
Your ignorance is utterly astounding. And you don’t seem to realise it. Your kind of jingoism may masquerade as intelligence on your side of the border, but it cuts no ice here

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
10 days ago

Contributing to the revival of the Welsh language in areas outside the Bro Gymraeg has been one of Welsh Labour’s few tangible achievements since the first Assembly session in 1999, and they deserve a vote of thanks for it. The hostile stance of the Conservative Party towards the language exposes them as being out of touch with majority Welsh opinion in contemporary Wales. This latest “forced down our throats”-style statement, along with their recent desperate trumpeting of unionism at every opportunity, shows that they have a radically different intepretation from most Welsh citizens as regards the very nature of Wales… Read more »

Erisian
Erisian
10 days ago

What I’d really like to do is ban the phrase “Well, they all speak english anyway”.
Of course ‘they’ do – as it is required for ANY job at all other than staying at home and working on the family farm. How fair is that?

Quornby
Quornby
10 days ago

After independence ony Welsh citizens will be civil servants here. I haven’t heard of any German civil servants in London.

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