Skip to main content

Welsh Language

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many members of staff at each grade in his Department identify themselves as Welsh speakers. (257794)

In an informal survey of 1,350 staff in Her Majesty’s Courts Service in 2007, staff indicated a range of ability, from being able to meet and greet in Welsh to those who are fluent both verbally and in writing. This informal exercise did not ascertain proficiency levels on a grade basis; such analysis is not available.

Her Majesty's Courts Service has not carried out a subsequent survey and there has been no Ministry of Justice wide data gathering exercise in this regard.

All Tribunals Service staff at hearing centres in Wales are trained to meet and greet in Welsh, including answering the telephone. The Tribunals Service has not undertaken a formal survey of staff to indicate the range of ability from being able to meet and greet in Welsh to those who are fluent in the language, both verbally and in writing.

Information on which languages are spoken by staff in the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is not held centrally. To collect the information would incur disproportionate cost. However, there was a voluntary survey undertaken in NOMS Cymru HQ and public sector prisons in Wales last year. Out of 1,035 surveyed, 247 responded on Welsh language of which 11 per cent. (27) indicated that they could speak Welsh and 4 per cent. (10) that it was their first language.

The two probation trusts in Wales each have their own Welsh Language scheme approved by the Welsh Language Board.