A PIONEERING Welsh language centre is laying the foundations for a bilingual North Wales.
Coleg Cambria Camu has unveiled a series of new courses at a range of levels including foundation, intermediate, proficiency and advanced.
Based at the college’s Yale site in Wrexham, the facility is held up as a beacon of best practice in developing the Welsh language in the workplace.
Cambria has led the way in pioneering Welsh programmes and been lauded for a culture of inclusion in Wrexham and its other sites in Deeside, Llysfasi and Northop.
Its Camu hub is focused on increasing opportunities for people living in north east Wales to use the Welsh language naturally in all aspects of their everyday life.
Llinos Roberts, Head of Corporate Communications and Welsh Language, said the college takes a leading role in helping to cultivate a bilingual workforce.
“Camu continues to provide a programme of Welsh language courses specifically tailored for the workplace in partnership with local employers who want to improve their bilingual customer service,” said Mrs Roberts.
“The centre also provides a focal point for Welsh language vocational training in programmes such as care and public services.
“Our community has embraced the projects we have rolled-out, particularly the Paned a Sgwrs (Cuppa and Chat) and drop-in sessions, language clinics, Welsh classes and our very successful summer school.”
She added: “Coleg Cambria is committed to raising the profile of the Welsh language as a valuable skill for employment and will focus on creating a strengthened bilingual workforce enabling individuals and communities to use the language across a full range of normal daily situations, becoming the norm rather than the exception in this area of Wales.
“In the long term, a centre of this kind will strength the position of Welsh as a vibrant, living language, a valuable skill for the workplace and a real boost to the local economy in this area.”
Camu was opened with funding support from the Welsh Government in 2015, by Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones.
The name was chosen as ‘camu’ in Welsh means ‘step’, implying that a visit to the centre is taking a step towards improving and using your Welsh language skills.
From there, the college has established programme to provide public sector organisations and local businesses with courses for their employees and was praised by the First Minister for supporting both sectors.
“The centre is a great resource for Wrexham town and surrounding areas, to promote the language as a ‘language for the workplace’ amongst people of all ages,” said Mr Jones.
Mrs Roberts added: “We currently deliver Welsh for Adults classes and Welsh in the Workplace provision for more than 1300 learners a year across north east Wales on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.
“We are working hard to make sure that numbers continue to rise with this raft of new courses and the support of our partners and Welsh Government.
“We will continue to strive for improvement but are delighted with the progress made so far, both at the college and in our wider community as we begin this new academic year.”