Plaid Cymru publishes plans to secure jobs for Welsh speakers
Plaid Cymru has concluded its year-long conversation on the Welsh language by publishing plans to secure jobs for Welsh speakers and to increase the use of the Welsh language in the workplace.
Among the recommendations submitted to Plaid’s consultation on the future of the Welsh language, there are plans to increase procurement levels to enable small businesses to benefit from contracts and employment procured in local areas.
Plaid has also published ambitious recommendations to increase the use of Welsh in the workplace by encouraging public sector bodies to use the language, and offer better training to public sector employees.
A year ago, Plaid Cymru launched an extended conversation on the Welsh language on Saint Dwynwen’s Day so as to initiate an open and honest debate on the situation of the Welsh language in our communities.
Simon Thomas, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for the Welsh Language, said:
“A strong economy is essential to maintain a living language. Without a strong economy and with no opportunities for local employment, people are forced to move from their areas to find work, which has had an extremely detrimental effect on the Welsh language over the last decades. We must rectify this.
“One recommendation is the setting of an ambitious target for our procurement policy to enable small businesses in towns and villages to compete for work. By working with local councils, health boards or companies, we can ensure that they prioritise local suppliers when purchasing goods, thus supporting local companies and jobs.
“This is the most effective manner of creating local jobs, and should be prioritised by the government – raising the current level from 52% to Plaid Cymru’s target of 75% would be sufficient to create up to 50,000 jobs across Wales, or a thousand jobs in an area such as Ynys Môn.
“Jill Evans has been campaigning on a European level to regulate procurement levels for this very reason.
“This is the sort of ambitious and effective policy we are considering.
“Unfortunately, the Welsh Government’s response to the disturbing census figures has not been satisfactory. If we are serious about reversing the decline of the Welsh language, different and more radical steps are necessary. Plaid Cymru has been campaigning hard to improve employment opportunities for Welsh speakers, for instance by ensuring a number of Welsh-language apprenticeships in our budget agreement, but much more needs to be done if we are to halt the decline.
“Plaid Cymru has held an extended and honest conversation on the Welsh language over this last year. We received a large number of responses on many aspects, and we have listened attentively to what the people have told us.”