MI6 | Graduate Recruitment Jobs | SIS

Credit Default Swaps killed the Moody 10 years ago…how will the FSB and CIA fare in Round II?

The names of the instruments might change, and the names of the participants might change, but history shows us, the outcome is normally the same.  The outcome for the many is nearly always eventually determined by the will of the few.  The question is.  Who are the few?

Now what new instrument do we know of that is not on a regulated exchange and has no reporting requirements just like CDS's in 2008.  Hmm...let's think for a Bit.  Here are some of our predictions.

Thought recoginition and mapping research began a long time ago. However, recent developments connecting Neuroscience with technology, will literally change how we think in the not too distant future.

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GRADUATE JOBS

 

The Secret Intelligence Services, including NSA and MI5, recruit some of the countries top graduates into both internal development programmes (such as the Intelligence Officer Development Programmes) as well as external positions within the UK Civil Service.  HMRC for example is one of the country's largest employers, recruiting some 56,000 individuals working across a wide array of positions, supported by Government funding of over £4bn.  It is fairly well known now that the intelligence agencies are keen to recruit both graduates and experienced professionals in numerous fields throughout the civil service.  Not all positions can, or do, allow for full time roles as fully fledged employees of the intelligence organisations, mostly as a result of budgetary constraints and other limited resources.  It makes senses therefore that the core role of many 'part time' employees or 'weekend warrior' personnel is often specialising in other key roles, on hand as and when their talents are required.  That said, the relatively recent acknowledgment that Sections 5 and 6 exist in an official capacity, now opens up the opportunity of the organisations to take part in the traditional 'milk round' route.  So, in essence, recruitment within the organisations is not a simple vanilla operation and instead is made up of a mixture of paths towards a role within the service.  For example, roles within the FCO and HO will often yield candidates who may be well suited to positions which operate in both roles.  Language specialists, academics specialising in science and technology (targeted by GCHQ), recruiters operating within Occupational Psychology, ex-police or military personnel with surveillance and counter espionage experience......all are extremely varied and represent the diverse professional, cultural and religious backgrounds targeted by the organisation.  Below are some of the key gateways into the security services, both directly and indirectly.

HMRC - The Tax Professional role

 

Tax is a complex business offering a varied and stimulating range of career pathways and opportunities to specialise - for example, in international and corporation tax, investigation, fraud, tax policy or as a manager, technical specialist or consultant.

Eventually you’ll find your own niche, but along the way you will learn how to:

  • resolve tax disputes

  • lead teams

  • deal with senior business figures and allied professionals (such as lawyers and accountants)

  • tackle complex tax work

The Tax Specialist Programme is particularly suitable for people who are enthusiastic about:

  • dealing with people

  • tackling complex issues

  • using their intellect and solving problems

  • investigating and finding out how businesses function

  • analysing and interpreting information

  • persuasive communication: influencing, negotiating and challenging

Roles are as diverse as HMRC’s work - you could find yourself:

  • making ‘site’ visits and interviewing directors, their lawyers and accountants

  • negotiating settlements and resolving tax disputes

  • representing HMRC at Appeal Tribunals

  • investigating fraud

  • working as a consultant, offering specialist advice to teams across the business

  • leading your own teams of tax professionals

  • considering and agreeing the application of tax statute and case law

  • taking responsibility for managing the relationship between HMRC and key businesses and their advisers

The programme is designed to give you a broad insight into the range of the tax work HMRC undertakes. It’s the perfect foundation for a wide-ranging career, and offers the opportunity to find your way as you develop. HMRC will encourage and support you in exploring and developing your own particular skills and knowledge.

 

What is the HMRC looking for?

For the Tax Specialist Programme you must have a 2:2 degree or equivalent at application stage, or the expectation of a 2:2 degree or equivalent before September 2019. Existing Civil Servants can apply without a degree.

We’re looking for people who demonstrate enthusiasm, and are

  • independent thinkers who can confidently express their views and make decisions

  • strong analytical thinkers and problem solvers who can work out what needs to be done and take pride in doing it to completion

  • committed, with determination and resilience, to complete an intensive 3-year training programme

  • team players who can also exercise their initiative

  • adaptable to shifts in business focus and the needs of HMRC’s customers, so people they deal with have no doubt about their integrity and professionalism, because everything HMRC does must be above suspicion and comply with the Civil Service Code

 

All civil servants are appointed on merit through fair and open competition. The selection process will consider your attitude, capability, talent and willingness to learn. If appointed you will be and are expected to carry out your role with dedication and a commitment to the Civil Service and its core values: integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality.

Training - what to expect

This is an intensive programme lasting around 3 years. It’s designed to equip you with both technical (tax) knowledge and the professional skills you will need to apply that knowledge when dealing with your customers.

The tax technical element is delivered by HMRC’s Tax Academy. It is a well-recognised and highly successful programme delivered by tax professionals who understand the work and can put the learning into context. It is split into 2 stages.

Stage 1 provides you with a broad foundation of knowledge and skills across different areas of tax.

Stage 2 deepens your tax knowledge and also builds your broader professional skills and other competences that HMRC needs from its future tax professional leaders. During this time, you will be working towards gaining a BA (Hons) degree in Professional Studies in Taxation. Please note that the way in which we deliver this tax technical element of the programme is currently under review and may change.

Throughout, you will be working with and learning from an experienced team, and your responsibility will increase in line with your knowledge and confidence. Before you know it, you’ll be carrying out interviews and site visits, and perhaps even leading a team.

 

Your programme will include:

  • practical work experience in teams, on live assignments

  • self-study modules

  • tutor-led sessions at one of our training centres

  • ongoing exams and practical work assessments designed to build up your knowledge of tax law and practice

  • regular reviews and appraisals

 

The programme has a modular structure, each one commonly lasting between 2 to 4 months. You will have to demonstrate your application of acquired knowledge and skills in the workplace and there is often a formal exam at the completion of a module. Your manager will also monitor and assess your performance throughout.

On successful completion of the programme, you will be promoted to a Grade 7 post as a senior tax professional. You might take on a technical/investigative role, a customer relationship manager role or be involved in formulating tax policy. Wherever you find yourself, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills essential to deal with anything from international issues or large companies to fraud, policy development or managing cases.

The programme can be completed on part time hours and the minimum number of hours recommended would be 30 hours per week. Successful candidates will be able to discuss their preferred working patterns with their manager. We are also hoping to offer a longer, more flexible programme for those with alternative working patterns, incorporating alternative delivery options. If you would like more information on this, or have any other general enquiries please email mailbox.taxacademyrecruitment@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

 

Locations

2019 Tax Specialist Programme locations will be as follows:

  • Belfast

  • Birmingham

  • Bristol

  • Cardiff

  • Edinburgh

  • Glasgow

  • Leeds

  • Liverpool

  • London (Greater)

  • London (Central)

  • Manchester

  • Newcastle

  • Nottingham

 

Eligibility

For Tax Specialist Programme you must have a 2:2 degree or equivalent at application stage, or the expectation of a 2:2 degree or equivalent by September 2019.

Existing Civil Servants can apply without a degree.

 

Nationality and immigration

The HMRC Tax Specialist Programme is open to applicants who are:

  • European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, including British citizens

  • Commonwealth citizens

  • Swiss nationals

  • in some circumstances, Turkish nationals

 

Right to work requirement

In addition to the nationality requirement, you must have the right to work in the UK.

Eligibility requirements are explained in more detail in the Civil Service nationality rules and you can check visa requirements using the UK visa checker

HMRC is not able to sponsor applications for UK government visas associated with these jobs.

Q: Can we induce an event which leads to a material and significant change in a person’s ability or behaviour which would be useful to an organisation such as MI6?

Straps yourselves in for a little bit of a wild ride, so if extreme sports of the academic or indeed philosophical kind are not your thing, then please unbuckle now and leave the park. The four terms used in the title would appear at first glance to be connected, but for the purposes of this article, are not.  There is a distinct, and key difference in that they refer to a journey of sorts.  The journey of the mind and neural functionality that eventually leads to a change which has been caused by an ‘event’. Each term describes a condition.  A condition of the brain at a point in the journey. 

Where did my Taxi Driver and my money go?”

 

Whenever there is a radical and rapid development in Technology, the voices of those who fear the human effects of such developments sing loud.  Of course, debate is ultimately a healthy proposition when conducted in the correct manner i.e a respectful exchange of ideas, evidence and facts to determine the truth or at least the likelihood of why ‘something’ happens.  The problem is that as we venture further up the emotional curve and hit the raw nerve of public consciousness, a healthy debate, absent of extreme views, is less and less likely.   This is quite possibly the stage we are at now when it comes to the vast changes of technological development at exponential rates of growth.  If one then throws into the mix a subject such as Artificial Intelligence, which has been the subject of many a doomsday prophecy, especially in the fictional world, then the prediction of likely effects  becomes distorted.  There are a vast number of capillaceous issues branching out from each topic within AI and on a scale which precludes us from analysis in this article due to time.  However, there are rarely more topics as emotive as a person's job and their ability to generate income in order to survive...so will driverless cars render the taxi driver extinct and will money even be necessary in any form? Read More. 13.08.19

Dark Web

An Opportunity or Threat?

Perceived wisdom suggests the Dark Web is synonymous with illegal activities involving weapons, drugs and pedophiia.  The assumption has been that if you use it, then you have something sinister to hide.  To be fair, closure of drug giants like "Silk Road" did nothing to change those perceptions.  However, in the big brother world of surveillance, the search for privacy is demanded by the majority and will be found in some way or another.  Furthermore, in a society where people are being increasingly attracted to the fringes of life,  the shift to increasing usage of the Dark Web is a given.  That does not mean it is wrong however, and as we often witness, it is people from the 'fringes' who sometimes operate outside of social norms, who provide the greatest sources of innovation.  We firmly believe the dark web will undergo an upgrade of sorts and although usual, non-secured browser based sites will attract some attention, their days are numbered.  The really exciting proposition is to predict Dark Web 2.0, 3.0 and so on. Rather ironically, but understandably, it is the law enforcement and intelligence agencies who are spending more and more resources on hiding within the shadows of the Dark Web.  It has been the most effective way so far.  However, as it grows, it will it continue to be the safe haven of the criminal or will some form of regulation (such as was with the legalisation of drugs etc), prevent the extreme offenders?  Take the example of Silk Road. It is not only possible, it is probable.  Whether you are in favour of legalisation generally or not,  in many cases it is a safer option.  Many of the sites that offered Marijuana were ran as slick commercial organisations where consumer satisfaction was paramount.  The product was therefore of superior quality (apparently) and it was offered within the relative safety of the internet and not some dark street corner.  Maybe that one is for the liberals out there.  For our purposes however, it shows that the deep dark web does actually have a USP which can be monetized, namely privacy.  Looking further head therefore, the real drug that will sell well in our 'Orwellian' future, is anonymity.  That will undoubtedly be the most precious of commodities.

 

As it stands now however, people and the societies they live in tend to display tendencies to self-regulate and yes, whilst there is always potential for abuse, the masses will (or should) drive the market to some degree of parity.  There are certainly huge opportunities around the corner.  A secured 'blockchain'esque' physical depository for parcel delivery is bound to happen on a large scale and accompany the growth of the Dark Web.  That is because the only chink in its armour at the moment is complete anonymity with delivery of items. Imagine a secure facility where parcels (aka Data) entering from one side, is subjected to 'scrambling' (aka 'Encryption') and leave the other side to be collected by a seemingly unconnected party (aka 'You').  Now multiply that across every City in the UK.  You then have what one can REALLY call an encrypted, secure, supply chain that would be undetectable to all agencies and, most importantly, legal  Read More.

There are many ways to recruit a spy.  Certainly too many to cover in an article such as this. It really depends on who the particular intelligence agency is looking for, which organization, and what its objective is.  It will come as no surprise that some methods are more or less well publicized than others.  For SIS in particular, given that the organization did not officially exist until 1994, many of the methods used for recruitment are, for obvious reasons, still closely guarded secrets.  Graduate recruitment is one thing, but developing a potential (currently operational) agent is another, especially if they are already in full time professional employment or indeed, working for another intelligence agency. 

 

The PR stance at the moment may well be to promote a progressive, modern image, and in many ways it most definitely is.  However, the traditional ‘tap on the shoulder’ approach was really symptomatic of a desire to retain control of the recruitment process.  To that end, things have not really changed.  SIS has, and always will be, more cautious about the ‘walk in’ candidate and will have entirely different, and more complex, processes in place to evaluate such a person.  Furthermore, the complex recruitment cycle is now refined to the point where SIS can recruit individuals without them even knowing.  Now that’s surely the recruiters’ holy grail.  As with all things ‘intelligence’ orientated, there is a constant focus on resources and purchasing power.  SIS needs to maximise the value of each pound spent and therefore, long and complex targeting of individuals used to gain information, has to be considered against the costs of recruiting those intelligence officers charged with interpreting that information.  So, in essence, a balancing act in the same way as any other modern-day commercial organisation.  Let’s not forget however, that despite the budget allocated by the Intelligence Committee and oversight of section 5, 6 and GCHQ, there are still relatively few intelligence officers out there. Especially in the ever-changing competitive world of private intelligence agencies and their corporate counterparts which compounds the problems caused by the brain drain and external temptations.

 

SIS Chief Alex Younger said in his speech at St Andrews that “If you think you can spot an MI6 officer, you are mistaken. It doesn’t matter where you are from. If you want to make a difference and you think you might have what it takes, then the chances are that you do have what it takes, and we hope you will step forward.”  Clearly this is a nod to the future and the recognition that with Espionage 4.0 around the corner, intelligence agencies need to invest now and allow time for the training and development of new individuals.  Individuals that could take two or more years to develop before assuming roles of increased responsibility and clout.  This is the likely reason and not, as some cynics have suggested, merely PR propaganda developed for the benefit of our adversaries to suggest that UK intelligence is growing.  The argument here being that even if the funds are not available, and even if the organisation is cutting costs, creating the illusion that the funds are there is just as effective.

 

So far the common denominator is money.  Whether it is the level of funding, or the maximisation of value for each pound spent.  Mr Younger’s comments clearly pushes ideology as a motivator and driver for potential candidates, and one can hardly blame him.  Let’s face it, it would be hard for SIS to push the financial incentive when faced with free market competition.  So, it is a given that the organisation has to, regardless of whether it is true or not, sell the notion of ‘making a difference’ as the key driver.  So, enter the ‘buddhist spy’ i.e. someone who has forsaken all desires of financial or materialistic rewards in favour of….that little bit more.  Here, the idea that freedom is power is never more true, but by god it’s a tough one to find, especially in the younger recruits.  Money can never be the sole motivator in this profession, but the complexities of life, youth, character and practical issues, means it simply is important.  One cannot really attribute this simply to youth either.  Yes, the younger recruits may well be ambitious and dazzled at the prospect of financial reward, but then again so is the 42 year old married man with three children.  So its not that.  Indeed, the tap on the shoulder system which focussed on the Oxbridge folk probably worked largely because they were the elite and on the whole from upper middle class affluent backgrounds where they always has the family vault to nudge open in times of desperation.  Ironically, this student and the buddhist spy are similar in that they are both free from financial pressures thereby making them more effective. 

 

So, they key thread to pull from the above is that there is power to be had from the freedom of external influences.  Without wanting to drift down the spiritual or philosophical road too much, a successful spy in todays world could be the one who can happily remove any influence, both positive or negative.  In the case of the honey trap, it would be rendered useless if the person did not attribute so much influence to sex.  In the case of financial reward, bribery or extortion, if one truly has zero desire for money then it is powerless.  In the case of power itself, if one is sufficiently self confident to the point where the affirmation from power is not needed, then that too is rendered useless.  So the buddhist spy almost becomes machine like.  Perhaps this is another case for the advancement of the neurodiverse, or those people less emotionally driven to some extent, in favour of the ‘safety’ of the binary world.  In essence, the buddhist spy is simply a person who cannot be bought, and therefore cannot be compromised.  Could you be that person?

 

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