THE new Welsh Language Commissioner has outlined his to "bridge the gap" between education and employment opportunities in Wales.

Aled Roberts revealed his ideas at the National Eisteddfod on Monday.

Having started as Welsh Language Commissioner on April 1, Mr Roberts has since been on a tour of Wales, meeting with more than 500 people, and learning about the position of the language in different areas and communities.

"Coming from north east Wales, I have a thorough understanding of how the Welsh language fares in my home patch, but it was important for me to have a clear and honest picture of the situation across Wales," he said.

"I also want my future plans to be based on the matters which are most relevant to people's lives. There is a tendency to focus excessively on status, statistics and the number of speakers. Doing so risks us ending up in a similar situation to Ireland, where 1.76 million people can speak Irish, but less than 0.5% speak it every day. I want us to focus on plans which will lead to increasing the daily use of the Welsh language.

"Certainly, there are many things we can celebrate about the language. During my visits, I met with hundreds of people of all ages, in all parts of Wales, who volunteer time and energy to hold community based activities in Welsh. There are positive attitudes and goodwill towards the language by Welsh speakers and non-Welsh speakers alike.

"But I also came across a range of challenges facing the language. As we know, education is key to create Welsh speakers and immersion education is very successful in creating fluent Welsh speakers. However, there is a real shortage of Welsh speaking teachers in the education sector, and immersion education is not planned strategically on a national level. I heard of situations where the closure of rural schools has led to a reduction in the use of Welsh in communities."