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Welsh Language Skills Strategy

Implementing our Welsh Language Skills Strategy

The Strategy is a key tool for managers who are recruiting to the FSA in Wales and should be used when designing and implementing workforce plans.

To ensure that this language strategy is applied consistently, all new FSA in Wales managers will attend an introductory Welsh language awareness session. The Welsh Language Unit will deliver subsequent refresher sessions for all managers as and when needed.

Actions required for implementation

To implement this strategy effectively, the FSA in Wales must undertake the following actions. This work will be led by the FSA’s internal Welsh Language Unit, with support from the Director of the FSA in Wales and Human Resources. 

Ensure all recruitment managers in Wales are aware of the Welsh Language Skills Strategy and the aims and requirements within.

Define and clearly communicate the internal Welsh language skills required to successfully implement the FSA’s Language Scheme. Efforts to recruit bilingual staff should be focussed on these key roles and areas:

  • Business Support Officer – a public facing role requiring bilingual skills. This is a permanently bilingual role with speaking, reading and listening skills required at level 4 on the ALTE framework and writing skills at level 2 and above. This role does not require re-assessment each time it becomes vacant.
  • Welsh language ability within the Communications team in Wales (at least one fluent member of the team) – to ensure an effective and efficient Welsh language Communications service, again with speaking, reading and listening skills required at level 4 on the ALTE framework and writing skills at level 3.
  • Welsh language ability across all wider teams (at least one fluent member in each team - level 4 speaking, listening and reading and level 2 writing) – to ensure that the public (which includes the general public, local authorities, the media, food businesses and others for whom we provide a service) can engage with the FSA in Wales on any matter of concern in their language choice (Welsh/English), as is their right.
  • Internal Welsh Language Unit – although not specifically referred to in the Welsh Language Scheme, the nature of all posts within this Unit requires Welsh skills of the highest quality (level 5) for speaking, reading, listening and writing.

FSA’s Welsh Language Unit to conduct a baseline survey of Welsh language skills across the FSA in Wales to determine the existing internal Welsh language capability and identify any gaps in service. This survey should then be carried out on an annual basis to ensure an accurate overview of internal Welsh language skills over time.

Identify options for closing any skills gap identified. This should be done via recruitment when opportunities arise, and via training and upskilling, as outlined in the Developing Welsh language skills section of this strategy.

Ensure Welsh language capacity across all teams in Wales:

  • When a position becomes vacant, or when a new post is created, the Recruiting Manager/Team Leader will liaise with the Welsh Language Unit prior to any kick-off conversations with HR.
  • If there is no existing Welsh language capability within the recruiting team, this vacant role will immediately become a Welsh essential role and the Recruiting Manager, guided by the Welsh Language Unit, will advertise the vacant post and target Welsh speakers (using Welsh language recruitment sites such as The level of skills required for reading, writing, listening and speaking will be determined by the Welsh Language Unit in line with the requirements of the post.
  • However, in exceptional circumstances where there is a clear and justified need to fill a specialist/technical post and recruitment for a Welsh language candidate has failed, the Director in Wales has the discretion to override the above Welsh language skills requirement.
  • Recruiting Managers and HR Business Partners should ensure that recruitment materials appropriately emphasise the Welsh language skills required, with reference to the ALTE Framework. This should be considered when preparing the candidate pack and any advertising materials.
  • We acknowledge that many Welsh speakers feel that their skills are not sufficient to use in their work. Reference to the ALTE Framework can provide reassurance to potential candidates that they have the exact level of skills required.

All posts that aren’t deemed 'Welsh essential' in accordance with the procedure above are to include Welsh as a desirable criterion (no level specified) to further strengthen the Agency’s commitment to ensuring a bilingual workforce.

New members of staff should be encouraged by their managers and supported by the Welsh Language Unit to reach level 1 (basic linguistic courtesy), meaning that staff can pronounce names and establishments in Wales. This will be covered in the Welsh language induction session for new starters in Wales.

Monitor and report on the implementation of the Strategy and include in Annual Monitoring Reports to the Welsh Language Commissioner.