Responses required by CELG Committee

 

·         Annual Costs of training Assembly staff during the 3rd Assembly and the effectiveness of that training  in helping staff to develop their Welsh language skills

·         The Welsh language training services available to staff

Below is a breakdown of the annual costs of Welsh language training for Assembly staff during the 3rd Assembly term.

Period

Spend

May – Dec 2007

£5,720.96

Jan – Dec 2008

£22,213.73

Jan – Dec 2009

£16,589.30

Jan – Dec 2010

£18,538.58

Jan – April 2011

£6,716.75

Total spend

£69,779.32

 

Welsh language training / awareness is encouraged at all levels to help us achieve our ambition of becoming a truly bilingual institution.  Staff wishing to undertake Welsh language training will identify Welsh as a learning activity in their Performance Management and Development Review. 

Ysgol Iaith Acen Cyf currently provide courses in-house from absolute beginners “Cyn-fynediad” / Pre-entry to the highest level Hyfedredd / Proficiency”.  On completion of a module, staff are formally assessed before deciding whether or not to progress to the next level.  Staff can also choose to attend evening classes and residential courses.

Welsh language training is introduced to new starters as part of their corporate induction.  Staff are made aware of our responsibilities and how they can contribute to achieving our bilingual goals.

·         The process followed in selecting the translation software programmes

Comisiwn y Cynulliad

Assembly Commission

AC(4)2011(6) Paper 2

Date: 24 November 2011

Time: 09:30–11:30

Venue: Presiding Officer’s office

Author name and contact number: Non Gwilym, ext 8647

 

Extract from the above Assembly Commission paper

 

3.3     Over the period July-October, Assembly officials have, with a view to

giving          effect to the Commission’s decision:

 

·         Consulted the Welsh Language Board (WLB) on the latest technological developments to assist with translation services. Consultation has resulted in the WLB commissioning new, independent Welsh language due for completion mid-December. Officials also attended the WLB’s Technology and Translation seminar in October and have considered its advice note The Welsh Language, Translation and Technology.

·         Procured a memory translation system. As well as aiding translation in its own right, the WordFastPro memory translation system can also be used to complement most machine translation systems.

·         Tested two online machine-based translations systems – Google Translate and Google Translate Toolkit.

·         Developed options for providing a fully bilingual Record of Proceedings. These options were based on an average Plenary of 36,000 words, turn-around within five working days using the Google Translate Toolkit machine translation system with WordFastPro, manual editing and proof-reading for quality assurance purposes.

3.4     Based on our research and test results, we calculate that the annual costs for producing a fully bilingual Record of Proceedings is

approximately £95k.

 

3.5     Our investigations have therefore demonstrated that we can provide a

fully bilingual Record of Plenary Proceedings within five working days,

through an arrangement that is sustainable in the longer term, and a

reasonable cost. We recommend that these arrangements begin in January 2012.

 

*The Welsh Language Board ceased to exist on 1 April 2012. The responsibility for the report now sits with the Welsh Language Commissioner. As of April 2012 which work has not been completed.

 

·         Summary of staff responses on consultation

Staff responses were incorporated into section

4.0   Bilingual Services (draft Official Languages Bill and proposed Bilingual Services Scheme) Consultation

 

4.1   The public consultation on the draft Official Languages Bill and Bilingual

Services Scheme was launched at the National Eisteddfod on 3 August

and closed on 14 October.

 

 

 

4.2   During this period:

     587 organisations were contacted directly about the consultation process;

     we launched a media campaign to publicise the consultation which generated positive, accurate coverage including thought pieces by Rhodri Glyn Thomas in Golwg and Keith Bush in the Western Mail;

     over 60 representatives attended stakeholder meetings which had the aim of enabling and encouraging attendees to make full, considered written responses to the consultation;

     we held 13 staff meetings to provide them with an opportunity to comment and consider the scheme’s impact on service delivery; and

     we held an introductory meeting with party group managers to outline the principles of the Bill and Scheme.

4.3   The Commission asked for the views of interested parties on the Bill and Scheme. Summary of responses:

     there were 59 written responses to the public consultation;

     two - the Canadian Parliament and Arriva Trains Wales – did not express a view on either the Bill or Scheme;

     of the remaining 57, 50 were in Welsh only and seven were in English only;

     40 were based on a template response Cymdeithas yr Iaith issued on their website; and  

     in general, comments were made on the Scheme and the Bill as a  whole, rather than in response to the specific consultation questions (Annex A). Responses in Welsh agreed with or wished to strengthen the Scheme and/or Bill while, with one exception, those in English were against the Scheme and Bill (and indeed against bilingual provision in general).

 

4.4   The responses received from the public were generally strongly

supportive of the principles of the draft Bill and proposed Scheme. With

the exception of six respondents, all responses either contained an

express endorsement of the principles of the package or, by seeking

further strengthening of particular detailed provisions, implied strong

support for those principles.

 

4.5   Themes raised and discussed at stakeholder events and meetings

reflected those of written responses received.

 

4.6   The Welsh Language Board expressed its support for the principles of

the Bill and Scheme, whilst making a number of detailed proposals for

specific changes.

 

4.7   Staff consultation and their responses were focused on specific practical

issues but have been summarised to inform the process of planning for

and implementing the provisions of the Bill and Scheme, which will

coincide with the Assembly’s consideration of both documents.

 

*further consultation with staff will commence w/b 30 April.