MI5 recruiting teenage spies straight from school in new apprentice scheme

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Security service MI5 is taking on teenage apprentice spies straight from the playground.

The shadowy department, which looks after homeland security, has traditionally recruited super-clever university graduates.

But in a bid to become more inclusive and grab bright sparks from across all backgrounds, bosses want kids in their ranks.

And there is a special ongoing vetting process to make sure vulnerable children are not snapped up by terror groups or criminals as they mature. Would-be recruits are told by the agency at MI5 HQ in Thames House, London: “We recognise that university isn’t for everyone.

“We need people who are fresh out of school, eager to get started and want to do something interesting.

“Whether you are supporting one of our investigative teams, administrating in human resources or starting our Technical Apprenticeship Scheme, you will be part of a team with the opportunity to develop and learn about the exciting work of MI5.

“Straight from school, you can help keep the country safe in a role like no other.”

Earlier this week, the agency set up an Instagram account in a bid to “reach out directly”

MI5 boss Ken McCallum said the mission to combat terrorism and espionage within the UK will be best-served by being less secretive.

While he acknowledged that some things would always need to be kept secret in order to preserve a “vital edge” against evildoers, a more open posture for the agency would help it liaise with academics, companies, and ordinary citizens to identify and neutralise emerging threats.

He added that MI5 needed to diversify to match an ever more diverse set of dangers.

He said: "We must get past whatever Martini-drinking stereotypes may be lingering by conveying a bit more of what today’s MI5 is actually like.”

  • London

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