Seventy five students from Grŵp Llandrillo Menai recently attended the 'Cymraeg: Cyflog a Chyfle'/'Welsh: Pay and Opportunity' conference at Nant Gwrtheyrn.

Construction, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy and Travel and Tourism students from Coleg Menai and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor came together for a one-day conference to consider their career choices after completing their studies, and to consider the importance of the Welsh language in making those choices.

The day was organised by Hunaniaith, in partnership with Sgiliaith. Hunaniaith is the Welsh language initiative in Gwynedd and promotes Welsh within the county by organising Welsh medium activities. Sgiliaith is a department within Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, providing innovative and progressive support for bilingualism for the post-14 education sector.

The conference started with a Welsh language awareness session, presented by Hunaniaith, Sgiliaith and Iwan Hywel from Mentrau Iaith Cymru, which was aimed at getting students to start thinking about the importance of the Welsh language to their identity and their employability.

In the afternoon, students attended masterclasses led by local employers with expertise in their area of study. The masterclasses provided an opportunity for students to learn about the work opportunities in the area, and the importance of Welsh in these fields.

Llŷr ap Gruffydd, learning, training and development officer for Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, presented information to the Construction students about career opportunities within the organisation, whilst stressing the importance of Welsh in order to deal with clients successfully.

Jano Hughes and Anwen Jones of Igam Ogam Hairdressing in Criccieth talked to the Hairdressing and Beauty students about how they established their successful hairdressing business, and the role the Welsh language plays in providing an excellent service and experience for their customers.

The Hospitality and Tourism students had the opportunity to sit down with Mair Saunders and Mathew Penri from Nant Gwrtheyrn to learn about the village, the services it provides, and how the Welsh language and culture is integral to the success of the business.

Sioned Williams, bilingualism officer for Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, based at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor's Pwllheli campus, said:

Thanks to the students who attended and participated in the activities during the conference. Also, I would like to thank staff from Hunaniaith, Sgiliaith and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai for organising the event and to the guest speakers who inspired the students.

Sgiliaith defines its own objective as an organisation as being 'to offer practical advice on good practice, staff training, and resources, with the aim of enhancing students' bilingual skills and experiences.'