Trainee Finance Officer Scheme Ref. 2357

Disability confident leaderThe Prince's Responsible BusinessSocial Mobility Foundation Award

Finance, Audit and Procurement
Cheltenham, Central London
London: £25,596, Cheltenham: £23,151
Learn. Progress. Be you.
And protect the nation.

The Role

At MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, we work against serious threats like cyber-attacks, terrorism and espionage. To protect the UK, we rely on a diverse and talented team. Join our Trainee Finance Officer Scheme and you and your skills will play a hugely important role behind the scenes, ensuring resources are effectively managed to deliver operations. Whoever you are, whatever your background, you’ll contribute to a safer nation.

Over three years, you’ll study for an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification while taking on several different roles. But you won’t do it alone. With a team of other trainees, a dedicated mentor and a ‘buddy’ with experience of studying the AAT, you’ll have great support from day one. When you’re not working at the agencies, you’ll spend one day a week at college with the other trainees.

In addition to studying for the AAT qualification, you’ll get to grips with:  

•    Financial monthly and end of year processes
•    Processing payments and employees’ claims  
•    Dealing with a range of queries and identifying and resolving issues
•    Reviewing accounting documents, and producing routine reports and summaries for management

As you gain hands-on experience of finance operations and develop your analytical skills, you’ll become a valuable part of our team. And on successful completion of the scheme, you may also be able to study to become a Certified Chartered Accountant. With plenty of training and further development opportunities available, you can build an exciting long-term career.

Who we’re looking for

To join, you’ll need to be enthusiastic, motivated and have a genuine passion for finance. We’ll also expect you to have GCSE’s in English and Maths at A - C/9 - 4 (or equivalent). Ideally you will be studying, or have already attained, one of the following at A-Level: Economics, Business Studies or Maths.

We’ll also be looking for you to join the Scheme in September 2022. Please note that if you’ve started or already completed the AAT qualification, you won’t be eligible.

You might be looking to change careers, return to work after a break or learn without studying at university. The important thing is that you have a head for figures and experience of using Microsoft Word and Excel. As a great team player, you’ll enjoy working with others and succeeding together. But don’t expect a certain ‘type’ – we need all kinds of people, so everyone here is different. While we welcome applications from all, please do check the eligibility criteria below before you apply.

Rewards and Benefits  

You’ll receive a starting salary of £25,596/£23,151 (depending on location) and other benefits including: a desirable pension scheme, generous parental leave and 25 days of annual leave. We also encourage flexible working, so we have a flexi-time scheme and other working patterns may also be available.

There are lots of facilities at our sites, such as a gym, restaurant and coffee bars. And we also host lots of social events so that everyone can get together outside of ‘work’.

Before you Apply

To work with us, you need to be a British citizen and you’ll need a real passion for the role. 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 a UK security agency. 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.

These roles are based in London and Cheltenham, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application. We unfortunately don’t cover relocation costs.

Due to the sensitive nature of our work, you’ll need to be discreet. But don’t worry - while you can’t tell your friends what you do, you can continue to use social media and lead a completely normal life.

Recruitment Process

The recruitment process for this role is outlined below (in order):

Eligibility questions & Initial form – you’ll answer a number of questions based on the requirements for the role. To complete an initial registration form, you’ll first need create a personal account. This will mean providing your full name, email address and memorable password. You can then complete the registration form, providing contact details and equal opportunities monitoring information. If you’d rather not supply these details, there is a ‘prefer not to say’ option for each question.

Online Cognitive Ability Test - if you meet our eligibility requirements, the next step will be an Online Cognitive Ability Test. We’ll be in touch with more information about this.  

Full Application form - if you pass the Online Cognitive Ability Test, we’ll invite you to complete an online application form. Should you pass the sifting for this stage, you may be invited to attend a Telephone Interview.

Telephone Interview - this should last around 45 minutes. We want to check that you have the skills and motivation to work for us.  

Online Interview – If successful at Telephone Interview stage, we may invite you to an Online Interview. This interview will dive deeper into your skills and motivation, so we can make sure the role’s right for you.  

Security Interview - this interview explores your life and experiences; it’s not about your competencies or capabilities. It will take place in central London or the west of England and is an important part of the selection process.

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process in order to progress to the next and your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process. It’s best not to give up your current job until vetting is finished and you’ve received your final job offer.

Culture, Support and Working Environment

We have a serious job, but that doesn’t mean we’re serious all the time. Everyone’s called by their first name and as we work in a collaborative environment, friendships develop – perhaps because we can talk about our work with each other, but mainly because we’re a welcoming bunch. It’s a very collaborative and supportive place to work and teamwork really is key.

It’s also really important that everyone has a great work-life balance. That’s why we offer a range of working patterns, including compressed hours and flexible working.
We also work hard to ensure our people can bring their whole self to work. Aside from fostering a welcoming, supportive and open culture, we’ve got a range of growing affinity groups. These currently include:

•    Our Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) networks
•    Communities supporting gender diversity
•    Various groups supporting staff with illnesses and disability
•    Faith/No Faith – communities for staff with a faith, or no faith, to come together
•    LGBTQ+ groups – networks supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans staff
•    You’ll also find a range of sports and social groups to help you settle in and connect with people with similar interests.

Disability Confident Employer
As a Disability Confident leader, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. This is known as Offer of an Interview. To secure an interview for this vacancy, the minimum criteria (in order of application process) are:
•     Eligibility questions & Initial form – you’ll answer a number of questions based on the requirements for the role. To complete an initial registration form, you’ll first need create a personal account. This will mean providing your full name, email address and memorable password. You can then complete the registration form, providing contact details and equal opportunities monitoring information. If you meet the criteria here, you will be directed to the Online Test.
•     On successful completion of this test, you will be invited to complete a full application form. Should you pass the eligibility sift, you will be invited to Telephone Interview. This is our Offer of an Interview.
•     Although you will have to take the Online Test, your score will not be assessed until after the Telephone Interview has taken place.

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 one of the nationalities or citizenships from one of the following: British Overseas Territory, British Subject, British National (Overseas), British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Person, citizenship of a country in the Commonwealth, citizenship of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA), or citizenship of the United States of America (USA). If deceased, they should have had such citizenship or nationality before death. If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. If successful, you will not normally be required to give up your non-British citizenship but, as a condition of your employment or secondment, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ may impose restrictions on your postings, work travel and/or general use of that nationality. 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. Each case will be carefully considered on its own facts.

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. 

Equal Opportunities

At MI5, MI6 and 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.

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.