Important agricultural qualifications to be offered in Welsh for the first time

Following a review by Qualifications Wales of agriculture, horticulture and animal care qualifications, more agricultural qualifications will now be available in Welsh for the first time.

The report outlining the findings, and the actions taken, was published today at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells.

The review found that the City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Agriculture, which is equivalent in size to three A levels, was not offered through the medium of Welsh and that a significant number of learners wanted to complete the qualification through the medium of Welsh in further education colleges.

It also found that there was demand for various other agriculture, horticulture and animal care qualifications within further education and apprenticeships to be offered in Welsh.

According to the 2011 census, 43% of agriculture workers spoke Welsh – the highest of any profession in the country and much higher than the national average of 19%.

A teacher interviewed during the review said, “It is so important that we have Welsh-medium provision. The agricultural kids tend to be from Welsh-speaking backgrounds, and it’s their first language. It is so important that they can do these courses through the medium of Welsh. Having these qualifications in Welsh is vital to us.”

The findings were shared with the awarding bodies, and the following actions have been taken by Qualifications Wales:

  • Grant-funded City & Guilds to make the Level 3 Advanced Technical in Agriculture qualification available through the medium of Welsh, for the learners starting their qualification in 2021/22 and 2022/23.
  • Committed to work with City & Guilds to develop a suitable bilingual level 3 agriculture qualification to replace the Level 3 Advanced Technical in Agriculture and to expand the bilingual offer to include Level 3 Animal Care and other land-based qualifications.
  • Grant-funded CIWM (WAMITAB) to offer the Level 2 Diploma for Sustainable Recycling Activities and the Level 3 Diploma for Sustainable Recycling Activities (supervisory) qualifications through the medium of Welsh.

Qualifications Wales’ Chief Executive, Philip Blaker, said: “We have launched a thorough report in which we outline the actions we have taken to address the concerns identified by our review and to strengthen the current qualifications on offer in Wales.

“Today, at the Royal Welsh Show, in partnership with Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, we have had the chance to celebrate the pathways and progression that support post-16 learners to continue their studies through the medium of Welsh.”

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s Chief Executive, Dr Ioan Matthews, added, “We very much welcome the review and look forward to seeing a further increase in the number of vocational qualifications available to pupils, learners and students who want to study agriculture and other related fields through the medium of Welsh and bilingually.

“It’s vital that Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and Qualifications Wales continue to work together to respond to the gaps in bilingual and Welsh-medium qualifications in the post-16 sector.”

The report included 45 detailed interviews with stakeholders, and 145 learners contributed their views through an online survey. Evidence from all these stakeholders has been used to inform the findings that are presented in the report.

Read the report in full here.