A targeted approach to increasing the range of Welsh-medium qualifications

Qualifications Manager, Alex Lovell, gives an update on our targeted work to increase the availability of Welsh-medium post-16 vocational qualifications.

During my first year in my role at Qualifications Wales, I’ve been repeatedly impressed by the commitment of our stakeholders to work with us to increase the range of Welsh-medium qualifications available to learners. Together, we are contributing to fulfilling the national ambition of increasing the use of Cymraeg, and growing the bilingual workforce in Wales. 

Nevertheless, there is still more we can do. Increasing the range of Welsh-medium qualifications continues to be a challenging task and requires a continued commitment from stakeholders across the qualifications system in Wales, as we strive to support the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 strategy.  

Our Choice for All strategy aims to support this ambition by increasing the availability of Welsh-medium qualifications so that learners can take qualifications in the language of their choice – be it Cymraeg or English. To achieve this, we have focussed our work on four strategic areas: 

By increasing opportunities for Welsh-speaking learners to develop their Welsh language skills through the qualifications system, our Choice for All work also supports the Well-being of Future Generations Act and its goal of creating ‘A Wales of vibrant culture & thriving Welsh language’. 

Over the last year, we have been driving forward our work in the post-16 vocational space by:  

  • developing and refining our approach to target qualifications in areas of strategic priority 
  • identifying gaps in the Welsh-medium post-16 vocational offer and creating a list of qualifications to prioritise between now and 2025 
  • supporting our phase 2 sector review of Business, Administration and Retail, by exploring the availability and demand for Welsh-medium qualifications in the sector 
  • reviewing the Welsh Language Support Grant to ensure that it aligns with the priorities of our targeted Welsh-medium work 
  • conducting targeted discussions with awarding bodies to encourage them to apply for our Welsh Language Support Grant 
  • launching a Welsh-medium enquiry form for learning providers to inform us of demand for a qualification to be made available in Welsh 
  • strengthening the Awarding Body Welsh Language Support Group by encouraging new members to join and continuing to support the group in addressing challenges and sharing good practice 

It was encouraging to see that our targeted approach led to a greater number of applications to the Welsh Language Support Grant this year. In 2023/24, over 80 qualifications will be made available in Welsh as a result of this grant, compared with over 40 qualifications in 2022/23 and over 60 qualifications in 2021/22. This is a positive start and a sign that we on track to achieve our initially planned target of making at least 120 qualifications available in Welsh by the end of the 2024/25 financial year.  

But our work doesn’t stop there. Throughout the autumn and winter, we will:  

  • prepare for the new grant year by conducting further data mapping and refining our targeted list for 2024/25  
  • plan our next Awarding Body Welsh Language Support Group meeting for mid-March  
  • engage with Welsh Government, the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, and CYDAG, the body that promotes and supports fairness for Welsh-medium education provision in Wales, to seek their feedback on our targeted list of qualifications, before we finalise our Welsh-medium discussions with awarding bodies in January 2024 

In order to further our work in this area, it’s important that we hear from learning providers about perceived gaps in the Welsh-medium offer for post-16 vocational learners. This is an opportunity for you to support our work by letting us know about any demand or need for qualifications and assessments to be made available in Welsh for your learners. 

Do you have demand for a qualification in Welsh? Let us know by completing our Welsh-medium enquiry form or get in touch directly: