Efa Gruffudd Jones took up the role in January this year and is particularly interested in increasing opportunities for young people to learn and use the Welsh language.
As the Further Education organisation offering the highest number of bilingual courses and apprenticeships in Wales and beyond, the Grŵp recognises its key role in supporting the Welsh Language Commissioner and the Welsh Government’s ambition to reach a million Welsh speakers by the year 2050.
The informal visit started with a discussion between the new Commissioner and the Chief Executive, Dafydd Evans, and other senior managers including Lawrence Wood, Principal of Coleg Llandrillo; James Nelson, Executive Director of Academic Services and Gwennan Richards, Director of Bilingual Development, Learning Resources and Skills, regarding the good practice and schemes across the Grŵp to promote learning and using Welsh amongst learners and staff, along with challenges facing the sector as a whole.
Following the discussion, the Commissioner had the opportunity to see first-hand the excellent bilingual teaching and learning opportunities within the college whilst visiting the Health and Social Care, Sports and Public Services and Hospitality and Catering departments on the campus. The Commissioner met with Welsh speaking learners and tutors to discuss how the Welsh language was embedded into courses.
Efa Gruffudd Jones, Welsh Language Commissioner, said: “I was delighted to be able to visit the Llandrillo campus and meet with the staff and more importantly the students themselves. From the outset I have emphasised that engaging with children and young people is a priority for me as we need to understand how and why they use Welsh, either within an educational setting or outside with their friends and families.
“The discussions I had were very enlightening and I was heartened, both by the students’ attitudes and the college’s positive and constructive approach to its Welsh language delivery.”
James Nelson, Executive Director of Academic Services at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Commissioner to our campus in Rhos-on-Sea, and it’s encouraging that she was very eager to hear the views of our young people.”
“Grŵp Llandrillo Menai is committed to delivering an efficient bilingual education, where young people can access and learn through the Welsh language."
The Grŵp is the leading further education organisation on Welsh and English language education and experiences in Wales and beyond. The Grŵp provides over two thirds of the Welsh medium and bilingual courses in the Further Education sector and offers a high proportion of Higher Education courses through the medium of Welsh. We offer a range of apprenticeships in Welsh and many community courses are available in Welsh or bilingually.