3. Increase your earning potential

Young people can earn more money as a direct result of speaking Welsh

FACT

  • Academic studies show that people with bilingual skills can earn a higher salary.
  • Bilingual skills can lead to rewards and premiums from employers.

EVIDENCE

  • People able to understand Welsh earn an average of 60 pence more per hour or nearly 9 per cent.
  • People able to write (as well as understand, speak, and read) Welsh, can earn an average of 75 pence more per hour or nearly 11 per cent.
  • The fact that the Welsh language is a prerequisite for many public sector posts directly impacts upon the salary prospects of Welsh speakers in Wales

EMPLOYER FEEDBACK

Some employers have said that they would consider rewarding employers with a premium if they could bring bilingual skills to the workplace

More interestingly, the fact that certain sectors have identified a lack of Welsh speaking staff within their workforce has led to the development of bespoke sponsorship study and bursary opportunities.

'The Forestry Commission, Countryside Council for Wales, the Environment Agency as well as the Centre for Welsh Medium Education has identified a clear shortage in the number of skilled Welsh speakers working within the environment sector. As a result, we have decided to create Amnawdd which is a scheme that sponsors students studying part of their course through the medium of Welsh at university level along with a guaranteed 5 week placement as part of the course. This lucrative scheme, which will then automatically feed the sector’s workforce, is only available to Welsh speaking students studying part of their course through the medium of Welsh.'
Ioan Matthews, Centre for Welsh Medium Education, Director.

'As a bank, we understand the specialist nature of providing services within bilingual communities. NatWest therefore supports staff that are eager to improve their language skills by sponsoring them to take part in evening classes, which then gives them a feather in their cap both in the workplace and in their personal life. As a learner myself, I’m very aware of these advantages when dealing with customers who wish to conduct their business with us in Welsh.'
Mark Douglas, Regional Director, NatWest Wales

Sources: Earnings and Linguistic Proficiency in a Bilingual Economy, Henley & Jones 2003
Mabis Report on the Use of the Welsh Language in the Private Sector (2007)

The Welsh Language Board with the help of Careers Wales commissioned Trywydd Cyf to carry out research on how being bilingual could give you the edge.

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