British Intelligence Higher Apprenticeship in IT, Software, Internet & Telecoms Ref. 915

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Apprentices and Interns

Do you want to be part of an organisation that provides intelligence, protects information and informs policies to keep UK society safe and successful in the cyber age?  If yes we can offer you an exciting and fascinating career.   We’re looking for motivated, technically orientated individuals to join our two-year Higher Apprenticeship scheme offering a Foundation Degree, based in the Cheltenham / Gloucester area and starting in September 2017.

This is an Apprenticeship like no other. Working with GCHQ, MI5 and MI6, you’ll gain a unique insight into a world that you won’t find on any university course - cyber threats, terrorism, espionage and organised crime. Our work is constantly evolving giving you plenty of development and new opportunities to explore.

The programme will lead to exciting roles within the intelligence agencies where you’ll be helping to build, expand and further advance our technical capability - and our ability to tackle threats to national security.  There is a strong emphasis on programming and technology so a keen interest in these areas is essential.

Our two year SIA Higher Apprenticeship programme combines university-delivered classroom and lab education in state-of-the-art facilities with technical training, mentoring and job shadowing, research and development, and work-based placements and projects. The first year will be based in Cheltenham with two thirds of the time in classroom based learning.  In the second year less time is spent in the classroom with apprentices undertaking placements during which some apprentices may have the opportunity to work in London at MI5, MI6 or the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Either way, you’ll be taking on real business challenges in areas such as software, network or telecoms engineering, information assurance or cyber operations and will receive full training and support throughout the programme, as well as a salary and all the benefits that you would expect from a Civil Service organisation. You’ll be learning about and working with some of the most advanced technology, and you’ll be developing a broad range of competencies including teamwork, communication and leadership skills.


Over the course of the two years you’ll enjoy exhilarating, hands-on work to help us build and maintain some of the world's most sophisticated electronic equipment. You’ll be a vital part of a dynamic team that ensures the UK Government can operate in cyber space with confidence and can stay ahead of the swift pace demanded by the evolving digital world.

The Apprenticeship will cover a variety of subjects including:

- Programming
- Information Assurance
- Software Engineering
- Analogue and Digital Signal Processing
- Telecommunications
- GSM Fundamentals
- Mobile Telephony Protocols
- Fundamentals of Data Communications and Protocols

Not only will the Higher Apprenticeship lead to a Foundation Degree in Cyber Security and a Level 4 Diploma in IT Professional Competence, but you’ll also be able to make a real contribution to the mission of the intelligence agencies in tackling threats to national security in years to come.

You’ll be supported throughout the process by our academic provider, the sponsoring university and the intelligence community. Work-based placements will involve you in real world tasks of a research, development or project nature, from which you will obtain evidence to complete your Apprenticeship.

After successful completion of the Apprenticeship and subject to business needs and meeting the necessary criteria, you may be offered a permanent position within GCHQ, MI5, MI6 or NCA.


To apply for the Higher Apprenticeship, you will need to have (or be expecting to have by September 2017), 3 A Levels at grade C or above with at least 2 A Levels in either Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) subjects, or equivalent qualifications in STEM subjects.  You will also require a grade B or above in IGCSE/GCSE maths.

Please refer to the UCAS website for guidance on equivalents, particularly BTECs and Scottish grades. You may also wish to check with your examining body for guidance. Alternatively, please contact the recruitment team on 0845 366 5567 or at


You should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application.

You should not discuss your application for this Apprenticeship, other than with your immediate family, providing that they are British. They should also be made aware of the importance of discretion.

You should not post on social media sites about your application or discuss it with anyone else at this stage. You will receive further guidance during the recruitment process.


We are fully committed to equality and diversity, and encourage applications from everyone regardless of age, experience, cultural background or sexual orientation.   


We recruit British citizens of all backgrounds, but the nature of our work means that nationality, residence and security requirements are more tightly defined than those of other Civil Service departments.

You must be over 18 at the time of joining the apprentice scheme to go through the Developed Vetting (DV) Security Clearance process, which is designed to clear you for work with the security services.

You’ll go through a rigorous, but fair, vetting process that will look into your background, character, family history and personal circumstances.   


As part of this campaign you will be required to undergo:    

•    Application Form
•    Video Based Assessment
•    Assessment Centre
•    DV Clearance


Closing date for applications is     21st November 2016
Assessment Centre            09 January 2017 – 3rd February 2017

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.