Skip to content

Welsh in the workplace

With the increase in the demand for bilingual skills across a range of sectors, Welsh speaking graduates are often very attractive to employers.

The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and the Welsh Language Act 1993 have contributed significantly to the development of a bilingual Wales.

Recognising the economic benefits, Welsh employers, including a growing number of private sector and charitable organisations, place great importance on bilingual skills, with 71% of employers in Wales stating that bilingual skills are desirable for jobs in their companies, according to the Welsh Language Survey Report.

Advantages for job seekers

Being able to speak and write in both Welsh and English can give you an important advantage whether you’re looking for a graduate job or wanting to further your career in Wales.

Welsh would be a huge advantage to someone starting out in broadcasting. It just gives you so many more opportunities of working on Welsh language programmes for S4C or for Radio Cymru – it would definitely be a huge asset.

Lucy Owen, broadcaster

It can:

  • help you stand out from the crowd
  • make you more likely to be employable
  • give you a potential to earn a higher salary
  • develop your employability skills
  • help your employer provide good customer service
  • broaden your horizons.

Find out more about the advantages of being bilingual.

Desired skill in a range of sectors

While there is a high demand for bilingual skills across many employment sectors in Wales, research by Future Skills Wales identifies an increasing demand for Welsh speakers for jobs, particularly in the following occupations:

There is also a demand for Welsh-language skills in teaching, especially CDT, maths and physics. Find out more about teaching in Wales, including how to gain classroom experience in a Welsh language school.

To learn more about using Welsh in different sectors, you can read employer case studies and listen to podcasts on the Careers Wales website.

Requirements for Welsh-medium jobs

Some job adverts state that the ability to speak Welsh essential, meaning that a significant amount of the work (if not all) will be conducted through the medium of Welsh. Typical examples could include working for a Welsh language initiative (Mentrau Iaith has links to initiatives across Wales) or a Welsh language media organisation, like S4C.

There will be other jobs across a range of organisations where the ability to communicate in Welsh is seen as a desirable or advantageous skill. In these situations, Welsh is seen as a valuable skill alongside a range of other skills (eg IT, communication, team work, etc).

Unless Welsh is described as an essential skill for the job, Welsh learners and non-Welsh speakers can and should also apply.

Learn more finding a job, including where to look for opportunities for Welsh speakers.

Many of our jobs involve dealing with the public, thus being able to speak both languages is a huge asset. If two applicants had the same skill levels, but only one of them was Welsh speaking, the latter would be considered as having an extra skill and more likely to be offered employment.

Geraint Strello, Welsh Language Policy Manager, BT

Additional qualifications

Entry to some Welsh-medium jobs will require a degree in Welsh plus a further, professional qualification such as translating or Welsh-language tutoring.

However, do check with individual employers, as some posts may be open to fluent Welsh-speaking career changers without the required qualifications who would be prepared to undertake further job-specific training.

Get extra support

If you want to improve your Welsh – or learn the language from scratch – you can develop these skills in a variety of ways.

If you're a student in the School of Welsh, you can book a Welsh-medium careers appointment or practice interview via your Careers Account. If you're a student in another School, you can book a Welsh-medium careers appointment with:

Llinos Carpenter