17 Jul 2017

A vision to grow the number of Welsh speakers to one million by 2050 was unveiled by the Welsh Government on 11 July.


Cymraeg 2050 - a million Welsh speakers sets an ambitious direction for the language and acknowledges the need for systematic planning if this vision is to be realised.

The strategy sets two overarching targets:

  • The number of Welsh speakers to reach 1 million by 2050;
  • The percentage of the population that speak Welsh daily, and can speak more than just a few words of Welsh to increase from 10 per cent to 20 per cent by 2050.

To achieve these targets, Welsh Government will be looking to drive the following transformational changes across three themes:

Theme 1 - Increasing the number of Welsh speakers

  • Expand Welsh-medium early years provision by 150 nursery groups over the next decade to facilitate a seamless transition into Welsh-medium education.
  • Increase the proportion of each school year group receiving Welsh-medium education from 22% (based on 7,700 7 year old learners in 2015/16) to 30% (about 10,500 in each year group) by 2031, and then 40% (about 14,000 in each year group) by 2050.
  • Transform the teaching of Welsh to all learners in order that at least 70% of those learners report by 2050 that they can speak Welsh by the time they leave school.
  • Increase the number of primary teachers who can teach in Welsh from 2,900 to 3,900 by 2031 and 5,200 by 2050; increase the number of secondary teachers who can teach Welsh from 500 to 900 by 2031 and 1,200 by 2050; and increase the number of secondary teachers who can teach through the medium of Welsh from 1,800 to 3,200 by 2031 and 4,200 by 2050.
  • Reform post-16 Welsh-medium education and skills offer to ensure that young people have the opportunity to continue developing bilingual skills to support a prosperous economy.

Theme 2 - Increasing the use of Welsh

  • Review the legislation which underpins the Welsh language to ensure it offers a strong foundation for promoting and facilitating the use of Welsh.
  • Ensure that Welsh Government leads by example by promoting and facilitating increased use of Welsh by our own workforce.

Theme 3 - Creating favourable conditions

  • Develop a new regional focus to economic development to help all parts of Wales to benefit from prosperity and support each area to develop its own distinctive identity.
  • Transform the Welsh language digital landscape with particular focus on language technologies.
  • Develop a national programme to increase understanding of bilingualism.

These themes are interdependent, as are many of the aims identified under each theme.  Work programmes will be published at regular intervals during the lifetime of the Strategy. The first of these for the period 2017-21 will outline our detailed key priorities for the initial phase of the new Strategy.

To find out more about the Strategy visit www.gov.wales