Cyber Security Development Programme Ref. 2579

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Technology Roles
£30,831 A one-off Recruitment Bonus and an annual Specialist Skills Bonus may be available once skills are assessed at interview.

About Us

We’re GCHQ, and 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 Britain's people, interests, and businesses from threats such as serious organised crime, people and drugs trafficking, terrorism and cyber-attacks.

The Role

GCHQ’s Cyber Security community are a trusted source of world class Cyber Security, Risk, Consultancy and Security Architecture services.

Our two year programme will take you through a structured training plan (classroom based and on the job) which will establish and build upon key cyber security principles. During this time, you’ll undertake a series of placements in our information security teams within the business. You’ll join an established Cyber Security Development Programme (CSDP) community, with peer support from current programme members and our wider team, as well as from a designated skills mentor. Throughout the programme there will be a key focus on Cloud technologies and the associated cyber security landscape. Dedicated Cloud training will be available.

You’ll need to commit to a range of formal training, particularly during year one, which will require your attendance during set hours. At other times you’ll be able to work more flexibly to fit with your needs, and the business’s. We do try to arrange training around school holidays, where possible, understanding that we all have needs outside of work.

At the end of the two year programme you’ll look to apply to one of the information security roles available within the team at the time. You’ll be supported to develop your technical and core skills, and gain the evidence to support this.

About You

You don’t need to have a technical background – we can teach you what you need to know. We are looking for people with:

  • Curiosity and a willingness to learn
  • The ability to take on board technical knowledge and put this into practice
  • An ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • A pragmatic and innovative approach to problem solving
  • A keen interest in the latest technology, particularly security technologies, whether as a hobby or wanting to take your interest or career into this area further
  • An ability to communicate well with others
  • GCSE Maths and English grade 4(C) or above, or 72 UCAS points (or equivalent)

Training and Development

At GCHQ we’re proud to offer an inclusive and supportive working environment. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfill your potential. We value your ability to learn and to adapt to new challenges, so we’ll invest in your skills and the way you like to learn, from books, study, courses, conferences to stretching work with support of the team.

Our programme is aimed at those in the early stages of their Cyber Security career, or those who may want to switch focus towards a career in Cyber Security and can demonstrate the aptitude to succeed.

You will be encouraged to drive and shape your own personal development, and have access to learning and development opportunities tailored to your role. You’ll be supported in gaining professional qualifications and certifications, and encouraged to seek out opportunities to continually learn and develop through career development guidance, mentoring, and buddying in addition to formal training opportunities.

We value professional skills, offering those in role the opportunity to apply for additional skills payments, based on the role, and subject to periodic re-validation.

Rewards and Benefits

You'll receive a salary of £30,831. We may also offer you a one-off Recruitment Bonus and an annual Specialist Skills Bonus, both of which are also dependent on your skills and experience, which will be assessed at interview. Our other benefits also include:

  • 25 days annual leave rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays.
  • Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme.
  • Opportunities to work flexibly, subject to business needs.
  • Interest-free season ticket loan.
  • Excellent pension scheme.
  • Facilities such as a subsidised gym and restaurant, and on-site coffee bars.
  • Paid parental and adoption leave.

Culture and Working Environment

As part of our team, you'll discover an inclusive workplace that's welcoming, supportive and encouraging. You'll be part of an organisation where people want to support one another and make a difference. Aside from fostering an open culture, we've got a range of growing affinity groups including:

  • Ethnic Minority and gender equality networks.
  • Groups supporting wellbeing, mental health, Neurodiversity and disability.
  • Faith/no faith communities.
  • LGBTQ+ support networks.

You'll also find a variety of sports, activity, interest and social groups to help you settle in and connect with people with similar interests.

Before You Apply

To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British Citizen. We do have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can't take any recreational drugs and you'll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

Honesty and integrity are really important if you want to work at GCHQ. Take some time to read about the vetting process and make sure you meet the criteria in the vetting pages of the "how to apply" section. The process can take some time, but this is just because it's thorough. Giving misleading information and omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously.

The role is based in Cheltenham, so you'll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application.

Please note, 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.

Equal Opportunities

At GCHQ, diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.

We're Disability Confident

GCHQ are proud to have achieved leader status within the DWP's Disability Confident scheme. This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people. Being Disability Confident, we aim to ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview where practicable; this is known as 'offer of an interview'. To secure an interview for this vacancy, the minimum criteria (in order of application process) are:

  • Application form sift - You should hold a keen interest in the latest technology, particularly security technologies

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply, you must be a British Citizen. One of your parents must be a British Citizen or must have the nationality or citizenship from our approved list of countries (further information on our eligibility criteria can be found here. If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. Candidates must normally have been resident in the UK for seven out of the last ten years. This is particularly important if you were born outside the UK. You can apply at the age of 17 years, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member. Please note, 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 of the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. Further information on our eligibility criteria can be found on the Applying section. 

What to Expect  

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

  • Application Form sift
  • Competency-based interview, including a technical section

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process in order to progress to the next stage. You application may take six to nine months to process including vetting, so we advise you continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer. 

Our Vetting

To work in this role you will need the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It's something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community has to go through and it can take some time. As part of the DV process you will be asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire and attend an interview with a vetting officer. In your interview the vetting officer will have a thorough, compassionate and honest discussion with you about you as a person and your life experiences, to ensure holding a DV clearance is right for you. You don't need to do any preparation for your vetting interview, just be honest and be yourself. All applicants for DV are treated to impartially and inconsistently, irrespective of gender, race, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics.   

Please return to the main job page to apply for this role. Click 'Submit' at the bottom of the page where you will be taken to complete the application form. Within the application you will be prompted to select which role you are applying for.

Right to Withdraw Statement:   

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received.  Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.