In an event on the Llŷn ac Eifionydd Eisteddfod field, Efa Gruffudd Jones, attending her first National Eisteddfod in her role as Welsh Language Commissioner, will reflect on her time in office so far, and further outline her vision for the future. One of her priorities is to increase the use of the language in the workplace and the wider community and a guidance document on the internal use of Welsh in workplaces will be published by the Commissioner's office during the week.
The event will be held today (Monday, 7th August) in the Societies Tent at 11am and joining Efa to discuss how the use of the Welsh language can be increased in the workplace and the wider community will be representatives from the Isle of Anglesey Council and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. It will also be an opportunity to hear from the National Centre for Learning Welsh as they draw attention to a scheme which helps organisations to tackle the issue of learning Welsh in the workplace.
Chairing the event will be presenter and broadcaster Iwan Griffiths.
According to Efa Gruffudd Jones, the first six months have given her a chance to discuss with people across Wales who have highlighted the opportunities and challenges in terms of the Welsh language,
"When accepting this job I was fully aware of the challenges, especially following the publication of the recent Census results. But I have been inspired by the positive attitudes and determined efforts that are being made to facilitate the use of the Welsh language across the country, by organisations and individuals alike.
"From the outset I have noted that the crucial work of compliance regulation with the Welsh Language Standards needs to go hand in hand with the work of promoting and facilitating the use of the Welsh language as it needs to be a living, natural language that can be heard on a daily basis.
"The event on Monday morning will be an opportunity to discuss how we can increase the use of the Welsh language in our workplaces and to hear about how some of our public bodies have gone about doing that successfully.
"To further support this work, I am very pleased to announce that we are about to start on a strategically important project to increase the amount of Welsh that used within public organisations. We are publishing a support package that offers practical actions which all organisations can consider.
"But we also want to be more ambitious with some organisations where a large number of staff have Welsh skills. I would like to see more organisations consider how they can administer through Welsh or increase the amount of their day-to-day work that takes place in Welsh. To assist us with this work I have invited organisations to become part of a steering group which will meet for the first time next month.
“The group will assist us in creating models of good practice and practical support that we can then share with organisations and this in turn will hopefully help adapt and improve future practices.
"I look forward to today’s discussion and extend a warm welcome to everyone."
Throughout the week at the Welsh Language Commissioner's stand there will be an opportunity to enjoy activities from various organisations that have received the Cynnig Cymraeg (Welsh Offer) and have dedicated themselves to increasing the use of the Welsh language in their day to day work such as Clybiau Plant Cymru, GWCT Cymru and NSPCC Cymru.
On Wednesday morning, 9th August and in partnership with the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, a discussion will be held in the Cytûn pavilion to consider research work carried out by the Commissioner on the benefits to charities of conducting fundraising campaigns bilingually. The Commissioner and her officers will also take part in various events and discussions throughout the week including with the National Academy for Educational Leadership on Tuesday and TUC Cymru on Thursday.
According to Efa Gruffudd Jones, the week itself is a unique opportunity to engage and listen to various viewpoints,
"The National Eisteddfod is an event to be treasured, a space where we can be proud of our language and culture and I am confident that the crowds will flock to Boduan. If you're there come along for a chat - we'd be delighted to see you."