European Language Graduates Ref. 2291

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Cheltenham, Manchester

At GCHQ, we work closely with other intelligence agencies to keep the nation safe. We work against unique, complex threats – everything from cyber-attacks and espionage, to terrorism and organised crime.  It means your work will be incredibly interesting, and unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else.

Do you have strong skills in European languages?  Whether you’re keen to use your existing language skills or more interested in learning a new language, apply now and join us as a Language Analyst and become part of an organisation that makes a real difference in the UK.  

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, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.


We have roles available both for those who are keen to use their existing language skills and for those interested in learning a new language.
Language Analyst - Cheltenham

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 from various corners of the globe, in a variety of different languages.  Using your linguistic expertise you’ll piece together snippets of information collected from a variety of digital communications sources.  Quick to respond to changing world events you’ll use your cultural expertise when working closely with colleagues to provide valuable insights into what’s happening, where and when across the world.

As a GCHQ Language Analyst, you’ll be using your Language and cultural knowledge to produce summaries and/or transcriptions into English, some of which may be highly technical or specialist in nature. 

You’ll develop analytical skills and an understanding of communication technologies to support key aspects of our work. You’ll produce intelligence reports for other government departments, law enforcement agencies or the military. A consummate communicator, you’ll establish and manage intelligence requirements with customers in Whitehall and beyond, sharing knowledge and insight whilst building and sustaining positive relationships.

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

Language Analyst re-training – Manchester and Cheltenham

Here at GCHQ, we’re also looking for graduates in European languages to embark on full-time paid retraining in a new language to degree level.  We currently have opportunities to retrain in Mandarin at our offices based in Manchester. If you successfully complete the 2-year course, you’ll be employed as a Mandarin Language Analyst based at our Manchester office. There may also be opportunities to retrain in one of a range of other languages in Cheltenham with a view to working at our Cheltenham headquarters upon successful completion of the course.
We’re looking for talented, flexible, and committed individuals from all backgrounds.  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 a 2:1 degree in at least two of the following languages:
We also encourage applications from undergraduates who are about to embark on their final year of undergraduate studies and are on track to achieve a 2:1 degree in the at least 2 of the above languages.
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 new challenges.


GCHQ has an inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes.  We value and nurture talent, and we’re committed to helping you to fulfil your potential.  You’ll receive a structured comprehensive training and development package in language, analysis, and communications technology. 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.  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.

£30,831 (which includes a concessionary payment).  Upon successful completion of a probation period (usually 6 months) you’ll be eligible for an additional payment of £3,000 in recognition of your language skills.


We have an excellent benefits package which includes 25 days holiday as standard (pro rata) increasing to 30 days after five years, various flexible working patterns and part time working options available, generous pension contributions, parental leave, and three days volunteering leave.  Please note, however, that language retraining roles are only available on a full-time basis.

Language retraining in Mandarin is currently available in Manchester only.  All other roles will be based in Cheltenham.

To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency, and security requirements.  You’ll find more details here.
Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing this application.  We’re conscious that 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 12th July 2021.
If you meet the minimum eligibility and application sift criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:
•    Language tests, to include a Language Aptitude Test – currently scheduled to be held in August 2021
•    A virtual Assessment Centre comprising an interview, analysis test, preliminary vetting chat – currently scheduled to be held in September 2021
If you are 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.  This will include a drugs test (hair sample).
We regret we are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

As a Disability Confident employer, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. This is known as the Offer of Interview (OOI). To secure an interview for this role, candidates applying under this scheme must meet the following minimum criteria:
•    Eligibility questions - you will be asked a series of questions relating to this vacancy. If you meet these criteria, you will be directed to the initial application form.
•    All candidates who complete the initial application form, who meet the eligibility criteria (a 2.1 degree in 2 of the above-specified languages) and who are applying under the OOI scheme will be invited to Language Testing.
•    Candidates who pass Language Testing will be invited to an assessment centre, which will include an interview.

If you successfully complete the required stages, and are successful at interview, you will receive a job offer conditional on you completing our developed vetting (DV) process, which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to undertake this role.

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. 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 and 6 months, 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.

Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward 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.