Language Opportunities Ref. 1806

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If you have strong skills in world languages, GCHQ, the UK’s longest-standing code-breaking intelligence agency, is offering you an exciting opportunity to join its ranks as a Language Analyst.


You’ll combine language, technical and analytical skills to produce intelligence to help keep the UK and its citizens safe and secure from external threats. The threats facing the UK come in a variety of languages so you’ll use your deep knowledge of specific languages every day to piece together snippets of information collected from a variety of digital communication sources. You’ll be responding to changing world events and using your cultural expertise to provide valuable insights to colleagues and seniors into what’s happening, where, and when across the world.    

While no two days at GCHQ are the same, the role will include some of the following main elements:

• Using your language and cultural knowledge to produce summaries and/or transcriptions or translations into English of material assessed as being of intelligence value, some of which might be highly technical or specialist in nature;
• Developing and applying analytical skills and an understanding of communications technologies in order to build up the intelligence picture;
• Applying your interest in technology, the internet and online behaviour to achieve real-world results;
• Establishing and managing intelligence requirements with customers in Whitehall and beyond, and producing intelligence reports for other government departments, law enforcement agencies or the military.

While the role is challenging, our flexible working policy ensures a healthy work-life balance. Wherever possible, we accommodate reduced hours or job share options, balanced against business needs.


We’re looking for talented, flexible and committed individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds who bring with them the breadth of skills and experience that we need. An in-depth knowledge and understanding of a variety of communities and languages isn’t just an advantage, it is crucial for our work.
You’ll need linguistic ability of a very high order to carry out the duties of transcription, translation, analysis and research and we’d love to hear from you if you have native or heritage speaker capability in the following languages:

• Arabic
• Persian
• Korean
• Pashto

Any TWO of the following languages: Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu, Mirpuri.

No formal qualification in these languages is required, but you must have the ability to write in clear, fluent English.

You’ll be well-motivated, happy to work in a constantly changing technological environment and you’ll have drive, initiative, perseverance and a naturally enquiring mind that’s capable of looking beyond the obvious. You’ll have an aptitude for - and openness to - learning how to use new tools, be able to carry out the analytical elements of the role with ease and confidence and relish the challenges the cyber age has to throw at us.  If you have a background in Computer Science, this would be a definite advantage but you don’t need to have a technical background as you’ll receive full training and support on cyber and the technical aspects of the job.


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. We offer a comprehensive training and development package to develop both your language skills and your understanding of communications technology, which lies at the heart of our work. Training will include classroom-based learning and hands-on training, which will enable you to grow your skills and perform to the best of your abilities.


As one of the UK’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to make a real difference to the safety of the nation. We work closely with our partners in the intelligence community to safeguard the UK’s people, interests and businesses from various threats. Think cyber attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. This is an exciting opportunity that you simply won’t find anywhere else.



As your language skills develop there’ll be opportunities to qualify for additional language skill development payments in recognition of your increased skill level.




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

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes towards completing this 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 of Monday 12th August 2019.

If you meet the minimum eligibility and application sift criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

- Language tests
- Assessment centre, comprising an interview, analysis test, preliminary vetting chat and drugs test (hair sample). There may also be further language testing.

All will be held in Gloucestershire.

If you’re successful in the selection process, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our developed vetting (DV) process that enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required for this role.

We regret we’re unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.