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Welsh Language

Volume 932: debated on Monday 16 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many employees of his Deparment who have been appointed to posts in Welsh-speaking areas during the past five years have been sponsored by the Department to undertake part-time courses in the Welsh language.

Since the Department of Employment Goup was set up in 1974 four members of staff serving in Wales have been given assistance with external courses in the Welsh language. Information about courses approved before 1st January 1974 could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what policy his Department follows in relation to ensuring that the staff in the local employment offices in Welsh-speaking areas are fluent in the Welsh language and can discuss matters with the general public in the language of their choice.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that it is the policy of the Employment Service Agency to ensure that, in the Welsh-speaking areas of Wales, at least one member of the staff in each employment office or jobcentre is able to converse with Welsh-speaking clients. As far as possible, the Agency also aims to have at least one Welsh-speaking member of staff in its offices in non-Welsh speaking areas.