Data Collection Development Programme

At GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of communications to make a real difference to the safety of the nation. Working closely with our partners in the intelligence community, we protect Britain’s people, interests, and businesses from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism and cyber-attacks. A role in GCHQ means you’ll have varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.


On our Data Collection Development Programme, you’ll do much more than just data collection, you’ll acquire vital information that underpins intelligence missions. You’ll be at the forefront of collecting the data, providing it to the analysts and helping to stop real-world threats. Over the course of 18 months, you’ll learn how to operate the systems we use to acquire data and have an opportunity to analyse cutting edge technology, exploring multiple data accesses. In order to meet intelligence requirements, you’ll monitor and check data processing, and respond quickly to change. In doing so, you’ll provide our operational teams with the data they need to support our government priorities, partners and allies.


You don’t need to have a technical background, but you will have a genuine curiosity and a willingness to learn. This is a bespoke training programme designed to equip you with key skills and an understanding of our work. So, you’ll commit to a mix of work and study for the first eight months, before moving into a permanent role with more specialist training for ten months. This could be with a team in Cheltenham, Bude, Scarborough or Yorkshire which could mean relocating – but we’ll take your preferences into account and accommodate them where possible. After 12 months, you’ll be invited to apply for promotion. If successful, you’ll be expected to stay in the role for around two years.


You’ll receive extensive, dedicated support from day one, with a mentor and buddy to help guide you, as well as having your line manager and friendly colleagues on-hand to share their experiences. If you need to travel for training, we’ll cover the accommodation, transport and expenses – and when it comes to your ten-month specialist role, you may be entitled to a one-off payment to help with relocation costs.


To join, you’ll need maths and English at GCSE grade 4 (C) or above, or the equivalent. Importantly, you’ll have a genuine interest in technology, as well as being a great team player, keen to develop your own knowledge while supporting others.


In return, you’ll receive a competitive salary, the opportunity to work flexible hours (following the initial 8 months training) and great benefits as you build your career in a welcoming, inclusive workplace that’s full of collaboration and encouragement. Aside from fostering an open culture, we also have a range of growing affinity groups including ethnic minority, gender equality, mental health, neurodiversity, disability, faith and LGBTQ+ networks, as well as numerous sports and social groups to help you settle quickly, and meet people with similar interests.


To find out more and apply, visit our website >>


To be eligible to apply, you must be a British Citizen. If you hold dual nationality, of which one component is British, you will nonetheless be considered. 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. You can apply at the age of 17 years, if successful you will not be offered a start date prior to your 18th birthday. Full eligibility details can be found on our website:

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