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As part of the Work Welsh scheme for further education colleges, Pembrokeshire College e-Learning Designer, Ben Lloyd was recently presented with a national award for learning Welsh in the workplace.

Nominated by the College’s Work Welsh Language Tutors for his remarkable progress during the scheme, Ben was presented with his award during a Sgiliaith training session. Shortlisted from nominations from across Wales, Ben secured the award for ‘Learner who has made the best progress at intermediate level’.

As part of the Work Welsh scheme, Ben has been practising various language patterns; paying particular attention to grammar points; discussing a range of topics including social care, history, creative arts, business, sport and science and the Welsh language, with the aim of building confidence in speaking and increasing vocabulary. As a result, Ben has made tremendous progress and is eager to master the language even further and hopes to attend a residential course at Nant Gwrtheyrn in the near future. Within his role, Ben hopes to create e-learning modules through the medium of Welsh in the areas of childcare and social care which are priority areas for the College in developing Welsh-medium provision.

Richard Vale, one of the Language Tutors who nominated Ben, said: “Ben’s personal objective is to be able to speak Welsh naturally and confidently, using the nuances of the local dialect and ‘Cymraeg bob dydd’ – every day Welsh. I am proud to say that he has made significant progress towards achieving his goal.”

Ben recorded an interview with Boom Cymru recently for a new programme about food producers, and he spoke Welsh for over four hours with the crew about his sea salt business Halen Dewi.

The Work Welsh scheme is funded by the National Welsh Language Learning Centre and is now in its second year, following last year’s successful pilot period. The aim of the scheme is to increase the capacity of FE colleges to be able to deliver Welsh-medium and bilingual provision. The College’s Welsh Language Development Officer, Janice Morgan, stated, “This year, over 20 of our staff have benefitted from the scheme to develop their Welsh language skills. The College values this national funding and we look forward to continuing with this scheme next year and increasing staff numbers even further”. The A-level Curriculum Area Manager, Lisa O’Connor, added, “Staff commitment to this scheme has been fantastic, and it is very encouraging to hear so much more Welsh in corridors and reading more Welsh in emails. The success of the scheme is proof of the hard work of staff and the Language Tutors.”

Helen Thomas, also a Language Tutor, added: “As one of the tutors, it has been a pleasure to teach and mentor the staff at Pembrokeshire College over the past two years, seeing them making progress, and developing confidence when speaking Welsh with their colleagues and students, in the lessons and in the corridors.”