Anyone watching Channel 4’s gripping political drama Secret State will have seen the shadowy figures of Britain’s intelligence community beavering away in the background, constantly on the watch for potential threats to the nation’s security.

The drama is just the latest major TV and film outing for British Intelligence – from Spooks to James Bond via Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the men and women of GCHQ, MI5 (the Security Service) and MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service) provide rich pickings for writers looking to tell a tale of intrigue.

If these fictional spies have ever left you pondering a career at the forefront of Britain’s war on terrorism and organised crime, your luck may finally be in.

The real-world GCHQ is looking for candidates to join its two year Higher Apprenticeship programme which includes a combination of university delivered education, specific technical training and work based placements and projects. Oh, and a salary of around £17,000.

The first year will involve being based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. On successful completion of their apprenticeships, participants will gain a Foundation Degree and a level 4 Diploma in IT Professional Competence with the potential for a career in British Intelligence ahead of them.

Interested? Register to attend an open day in Manchester, London or Cheltenham at and find out more.

Applications close on 30th November 2012 and you’ll need to be a British citizen with, or expecting to gain by September 2013, three A-Levels (or equivalent qualifications), two of which must be at Grade C or above in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) related subject.

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