All people applying for Welsh Government jobs will be required to have at least a "courtesy level" of Welsh.
Staff will have to prove they have met the skills when appointed or within an agreed amount of time during their probationary period, which is usually six months.
That includes the ability to:
- pronounce Welsh language words, names, place names and terms
- answer the phone bilingually, greet people or make introductions bilingually
- understand and use proactively everyday expressions and simple key words relating to the workplace
- read and understand short texts providing basic information, for example in correspondence, or to interpret the content using available technology
- demonstrate language awareness – which includes an appreciation of the importance of the language in society and an awareness of what is required to provide bilingual customer service.
Read more: Face masks to be mandatory in Wales while 'coronavirus remains public health threat' says Welsh Government
When advertising new jobs, adverts will no longer say "no Welsh language skills required" as that "no longer reflects the requirements or ethos of the organisation".
"This is to be replaced, as a minimum requirement for all posts, with wording emphasising that Welsh language skills are an asset to the Welsh Government," the document says.
Applicants for jobs will be told having no Welsh is not a "barrier" to a job but new staff will get an induction course.Welsh Government published the "Cymraeg. It belongs to us all" strategy which lists what the institution will do to try meet targets to get a million Welsh speakers by 2050. The document details plans for the five years until 2025 as a short term goal to becoming a bilingual organisation by 2050.
It says "we want and need more Welsh Government staff to have Welsh language skills they can use in the workplace. This can be done in two ways; by existing staff starting to learn or improve and by more recruitment of those who already have Welsh language skills. Both of these will be required, as – crucially – is plenty of time and support to adapt."
It also says senior officials will be "expected to lead by example".
"They will help others to use, learn and improve their Welsh language skills – and develop skills of their own. Learning Welsh and facilitating its use by Welsh speakers in day to day work will be a business need across the organisation, and line managers will need to adhere to that principle by demonstrating personal leadership."
In terms of recruiting new staff, it says there have "been only limited opportunities to recruit new staff and we do not expect this to change significantly any time soon" but says new staff will be "welcomed and supported to improve their Welsh language skills".
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "We are strengthening our Welsh language recruitment requirements in line with our ‘Cymraeg: It belongs to us all’ strategy, which sets out our long-term plans to become a truly bilingual organisation, in which all staff understand Welsh.
"As part of the changes, we will encourage all new employees to demonstrate or learn a courtesy level of Welsh, and continue to encourage and help staff to learn Welsh through our wide-ranging programme of training, which is available to all our employees. Between 2020 and 21, we saw a 44% increase in applications by staff for weekly Welsh lessons."
"Recruitment for our most senior leadership roles - such as the one currently underway to appoint a new Permanent Secretary - already stress that we consider the Welsh language to be an asset. We will introduce further changes when we introduce a new recruitment system, and will apply to new posts and arising vacancies within the Welsh Government, as well as to roles - such as Commissioners - appointed by Welsh Government."
Conservative Senedd member Tom Giffard wrote on Twitter: "The Welsh Government is becoming a closed shop. I'm proud to speak Welsh, but why should be excluding the 75% of people in Wales that don't from working for the Welsh Government? Shouldn't we just be appointing the best person for the job?"