How Valuable will the ability to speak welsh be in Wales?
I know that everyone in Wales speaks fluent English.
Well, not quite accurate! Every adult in Wales will be pretty fluent in English, but not all are completely confident in it if they do not use it regularly. Not all young children speak it, either - they may have no need to.
In Monmouthshire, in south-east Wales, about 10% of the overall population can speak Welsh, but about 40% of children can use Welsh to some extent - the challenge is to encourage them to keep it up. In parts of west and north-west Wales, 80% or more of people will speak Welsh. In the Mochyn Du pub in Cardiff it will be pretty close to 100%!
Many young children from first language families have very limited English, so it's important for health professionals, nursery workers and teachers.
Many older people need medical and nursing care in their first language, they may even have forgotten much of the English linguistic skills.
In the public sector of the economy, especially local government Welsh skills are seen as something that is advantageous for its employees because of the demand for Welsh language services and also the pressure from the Welsh government to meet basic standards.
There is a shortage of Welsh speaking staff in all areas of education, especially in the expanding Welsh medium schools movement.
In addition for the experienced learner there is access to a rich Welsh language culture.
Picking up on the teacher part. There is talk of all children in Wales being offered trilingual primary education in the future, so if this takes off there could be a possible shortage of teachers who can comfortably teach the third language required in a Welsh medium school environment, where all other activities are conducted in Welsh.