A TALBOT Green supermarket has been encouraging its customers to use some Welsh by taking part in a national campaign that promotes the use of the language in the workplace.

The Iaith Gwaith tour visited Tesco based in Talbot Green Retail Park on in November to highlight the benefits of using the Welsh language at work to businesses and people in the local area.

The tour, supported by Tesco along with other major supermarkets Sainsbury's, ASDA, The Co-operative, Waitrose, Morrisons and the Designer Outlet in Bridgend, is visiting supermarkets across Wales throughout November.

Iaith Gwaith, run by the Welsh Language board, was developed to make it easier for everyone to use their Welsh in the workplace and increase people's confidence in their ability to use the language.

Welsh speakers are identified by a badge bearing the Iaith Gwaith logo.

Shoppers were treated to performances by professional actors dressed as the Iaith Gwaith speech bubbles who demonstrated the benefits of using Welsh in the workplace, such as improved levels of customer service and boosting staff morale.

Store manager of Tesco in Talbot Green, Martin Smith, said: "We're delighted to be supporting the Iaith Gwaith tour and are only too happy to show people in our local area how adopting the scheme has benefited our staff and customers. Encouraging staff members to wear the Iaith Gwaith badge underlines our commitment to the Welsh language and to building a strong presence across the whole of Wales."

Meirion Prys Jones, chief executive of the Welsh Language Board, said: "So many people know some Welsh but many never get the opportunity to use it. Iaith Gwaith is all about helping people create those opportunities to utilise their Welsh, whether it's in the office, in the bank or while out shopping."

The 2001 Census figures released back in February 2003 showed an increase of around 80,000 in the number of those who can speak Welsh.

The figures released in May 2003 showed that 37.7 per cent of children between three and 15-years-old in Wales can speak the language - an increase of 13.4 per cent since the last census in 1991 and there has been a significant rise in the number of children attending Welsh-medium schools. Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones, who officially launched the Iaith Gwaith Tour in Cardiff, said: "Thousands of people visit supermarkets in Wales each day so what better place to spread the Iaith Gwaith message. We're extremely grateful to all the supermarkets taking part in the tour and we hope this campaign encourages more people to consider using their Welsh at work."