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We’re GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence, security and cyber agency. We unlock the complex world of communications to protect the country from threats including serious and organised crime, terrorism and cyber-attacks. Our Language Analysts play a key role in the success of this mission. Now, you have the opportunity to join them via our new Mandarin Language Training programme.
On our 2-year Mandarin Language Training programme, you’ll learn the language to degree level. Motivated and hard-working, you’ll also develop your understanding of the culture, history, politics and societies where Mandarin is spoken. Upon successful completion of the programme, you’ll deploy your knowledge in your work as a Mandarin Language Analyst.
In this role, you won’t just be transcribing. You’ll combine language, technical and analytical skills to deliver vital insights that inform intelligence reports. Whether you’re providing summaries of valuable materials or analysing information from digital communication sources, you’ll use your language and cultural knowledge to get results. Information could be technical or specialist in nature, so you’ll demonstrate drive and perseverance to draw out key insights. Using your initiative, you’ll respond to changing world events and in doing so, help develop our understanding of the latest intelligence – and our response to new challenges.
You’ll be part of a diverse team with specialist technical knowledge. So, you’ll enjoy working with people, and seize opportunities to broaden your learning. Clear and concise in your findings, you’ll share your cultural expertise with colleagues, as well informing reports for government departments, law enforcement, the military, and senior Whitehall customers.
You don’t need a technical background to join, as you’ll receive comprehensive classroom and hands-on training in language, analysis and communications technology. However, you’ll need a minimum 2:2 degree in any discipline, plus a B or above in any language at A-Level to be considered.
In return, you’ll receive a generous salary as well as 25 days’ annual leave (rising to 30 after 5 years), an interest-free season ticket loan, and access to on-site facilities, among other benefits. Plus, you’ll be joining a workplace that’s welcoming, supportive and open – meaning you’ll feel comfortable bringing your whole self to work. We even have a range of growing affinity groups for ethnic minority, gender equality, mental health, neurodiversity and disability, faith and LGBTQ+ support.
Our recruitment process is fair, transparent and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:
Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer. We regret that we are unable to reimburse travel expenses.
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, we 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, 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.