Commercial Student Scheme 2019 Ref. 1593

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London, Cheltenham (located within an hour’s journey of Birmingham and Bristol)
£20,133 per annum (pro-rata)
GCHQ, the longest standing code-breaking intelligence agency in the UK, is offering you an exciting opportunity to join our organisation as a Commercial Summer placement.


GCHQ is offering you an exciting opportunity to enrol onto either an 11-week summer programme or a 12-month work placement. The scheme is aimed at Business Studies, Finance, Accountancy and Law with students being able to be based in either Cheltenham or London.

The Commercial Student Scheme is offering Students the opportunity to improve their learning, gain awareness of commercial business, have exposure to the world of public sector contract let and contract management to procure goods, services and works that directly enable operational activity. GCHQ is the only public sector organisation and one of twelve worldwide to hold the Platinum Award in the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), a prestigious, professional standard.

During either the 11-week programme or 12-month placement, you’ll work as an integrated part of one of our commercial teams, using your acquired skills, knowledge and experience to help you along the way.

Both the 11-week summer programme and 12-month placement will see you carry out procurement projects which look for opportunities to further develop your learning to date. The nature of the projects are intended to be relevant to the individuals’ academic studies and it is expected that you could use your project experience as an example or a form of evidence of your work in the final year at university. There will also be learning opportunities which will help you to understand commercial processes as well as wider business management in the organisation and give you exposure to the inner workings of a very busy commercial department. We expect both the 11-week summer programme and the 12-month placement to provide a very exciting and fulfilling time where you can really get involved with some of the innermost workings of GCHQ.

Key Aims:

• Applying your learning to-date within a working environment
• Learning new skills/knowledge to aid your future studies
• Enjoying your work experience, having fun!

You may be involved in some, or all, of these activities during your placement:

• Commercial Projects looking into business practice and how we operate as a CIPS Platinum standard organisation.
• Learning about wider business management, exposure to contract let, contract management and GCHQ operations
• Attending tailored commercial and soft skills learning & development, learning more about GCHQ and the wider mission, working with people from other teams across all departments.


We are looking for motivated people who are happy to work in a constantly changing commercial environment, who have enthusiasm, drive, and initiative and are prepared to question processes and express their ideas.

Students will need to be either:

• Graduating in 2019/2020 and available to attend an 11-week summer programme from 1st July – 13th September 2019  


• Graduating in 2020/2021 and available to attend a 12-month placement commencing 9th September 2019


At GCHQ we’re proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential. With comprehensive training and development that  will enable you to grow your skills and perform to the best of your abilities. Supported by our collaborative learning environment, you’ll soon be working on projects that help keep Britain safe.

At the end of your Summer placement, you may considered for full time employment at GCHQ upon ‘successful’ completion of the scheme and achieving a minimum of a 2:2 university degree.


As one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to keep our nation safe. We work closely with MI5 and MI6, our partners in the intelligence community, to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from various threats. Think cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. It’s challenging, varied and meaningful work that you simply won’t find anywhere else.


For the scheme: (subject to change): current salary is £20,133 per annum (pro-rata).

Job Opportunities:
Students may be offered permanent employment at GCHQ upon ‘successful’ completion of the scheme and achieving a minimum of a 2:2 university degree.


Cheltenham (located within an hour’s journey of Birmingham and Bristol) or London


To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency and security requirements.  You’ll find more details here: Recruitment Team.

As users of the disability confident scheme, we also guarantee to interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for our roles.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

- Personal interview*
- Drug test

*Interviews will be held at various locations.

All interested parties need to submit:
• a CV, which must include details of what degree you are studying and when you are due to graduate,

• a 300 word (max) statement that supports your application and specifies which student scheme you wish to apply for (11-week summer programme or 12- month placement) and a preference of working location (Cheltenham or London).

All final applications will be collated and sifted by 14th November 2018 and candidates invited to a further interview, taking place 19th – 30th November 2018.

Successful candidates will be notified by 3rd December 2018.

Confirmation of any appointment onto either the 11-week summer programme or the 12-month placement will be subject to the student successfully passing through the Developed Vetting process.

If you successfully complete these stages, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our developed vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to perform this vital role.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.