The third year of Ceredigion council’s ‘Work Welsh’ scheme was delivered online during the pandemic for 70 staff.

The scheme delivered by Welsh training officer Dewi Huw Owen, a partnership with the council’s learning development team and the National Centre for Learning Welsh, adapted its provision due to Covid-19.

A report of the 2020/21 scheme was welcomed by the members of the Ceredigion County Council language committee on Monday (November 22) and the continued use of platforms such as Zoom championed.

Mr Owen told members that in person lessons were worthwhile and will be held, particularly to improve conversational Welsh, but “Zoom has opened doors to people,” with the 2021/22 academic year set to see more than 90 students involved.

Seventy council staff took intensive Welsh classes as part of the scheme in 2020/21 across five different levels, increasing to six for 2021/22.

There were 12 beginners, 31 foundation students, 12 intermediate, nine advance level one and six advanced level twos, with nine of those advanced students having reached that level through the scheme’s courses in previous years, the committee heard.

Feedback from students was highlighted for councillors including those who found the courses useful for providing services and communicating better with service users, using more Welsh with colleagues and gaining confidence to use Welsh in every aspect of their professional life.

The formal learning component has been successful, and provision increased, noted Mr Owen’s report, with wins at the National Work Welsh Awards including first place for Mariolina Lai, a day care assistant at Min-y-Mor in the student who has made the best progress at foundation level or above category.

Numeracy, literacy and business tutor with Dysgu Bro Alison Newbry came second in the learner who makes bet use of Welsh in the workplace at foundation level or above and Mr Owen himself came second in the Work Welsh tutor of the year, after being nominated by his students.

There are also informal learning opportunities for students with lunch clubs, quizzes, and concerts and bespoke courses were created for Best Interest Assessors (BIAS) working in the field of deprivation of liberty safeguarding.