MI6 advertises for secret agents


Abril de 2006

On 27 April 2006, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, also known as MI6) will begin open advertising for the first time in its 97 year history, as a means of expanding the Service to meet 21st Century challenges such as terrorism and counter proliferation.

Traditionally, it has been an agency that does its work in the shadows. But MI6 has broken cover by advertising publicly for recruits for the first time.

The inaugural advert reveals that a range of jobs are on offer. Opportunities for "operational officers" and technology experts bring to mind the popular James-Bond style perception of the Secret Intelligence Service.
However, also in demand are "thoroughly efficient administrators", which suggests a rather less exciting reality.

The half page ad gives a hint of what life working for MI6 might be like, with a montage of images including a gun, desert, jungle, and plane, and the service's imposing headquarters on the Thames at Vauxhall in central London.

It says the agency operates around the world to make Britain "safer and more prosperous", and hires "people we can depend on because everyone in the UK depends on them".

The campaign, which is apparently aimed at new graduates and people considering a career switch for more excitement, appears in The Times' careers supplement and is also due to run in the Economist magazine.

Historically the SIS is believed to have operated a "tap on the shoulder" recruitment technique, where promising candidates were approached individually.

However, the rise in international terrorism has led to an expansion in its activities, and it is now thought to employ around 2,000 staff.

MI6 launched a website last year which includes a section on recruitment, but today's advert is the first in its near 100-year history that has been placed openly
Commenting on this development, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said:
'This is another example of the modernisation of SIS's recruitment process, extending the Service's candidate base, and making it easier to apply. I welcome this move, and would add this message of encouragement to all members of the British public: "Don’t wait to be asked to join SIS – if you believe you have the aptitude and talent - apply now !".