OUNG people in Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to learn another European language to boost their career prospects.
Staff at the Carmarthen-based West Wales European Centre are encouraging people to take up the challenge following the European Day of Languages (EDL) on Sunday, September 26.
Countries all over Europe observe the occasion each year, celebrating the 200 languages spoken in the continent alone. EDL was first celebrated in 2001.
Lorena Prist, European Networking Officer at the West Wales European Centre, has organised a week-long programme of secondary school visits, running until Friday (October 1). The theme of the information sessions is EU languages, opportunities and career prospects. She was in Bryngwyn School, Llanelli, today.
Lorena said: “The sessions aim to raise the students’ awareness of the diversity of EU languages and that learning foreign languages can lead to a variety of careers at EU and international levels. There is also a range of EU opportunities available for young people to gain experience, build their confidence, and improve their skills as well as their career prospects. For example, they can have a grant to undertake a work experience placement in another EU country.”
This week’s visits also include St John Lloyd, Maesyryrfa, Ysgol y Strade, Glan-y-Mor and Coedcae Schools.
County council executive board member for education, Cllr Gwynne Wooldridge, said: “We want to let pupils know that languages can take them far in life. They are faced with so many choices in schools these days that languages may not immediately jump out.”
The Carmarthen-based West Wales European Centre promotes the European Day of Languages each year, as part of its commitment to strengthening links between Wales and the EU.
The centre is also a member of the EU-wide network of information centres - Europe Direct, which aims to raise awareness of the European Union and its institutions.
For further information about the centre, or to find out more about opportunities in Europe, visit www.wwec.org.uk, or call Lorena Prist, European Networking Officer, on 01267 242360.
Caption: European Day of Languages event at Bryngwyn School, Llanelli.
Year nine pupils enjoying the day with EU networking officer Lorena Prist and Head of languages at Bryngwyn Tonia Crowther.
Pic Jeff Connell