Mandarin Language Training

  • Recruiter: GCHQ
  • Job posted: 19/08/22
  • Reference: 2572m
  • Type: Permanent
  • Salary: £30,831 (includes concessionary payment)
  • Fluent language: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish (Gaelic), Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss German, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh
  • Job location: Manchester
  • We are GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of communications to make a real difference to the safety of the nation. We work closely with our partners in [MI5 and MI6] to safeguard Britain's people, interests, and businesses from threats such as serious organised crime, people and drugs trafficking, terrorism and cyber-attacks.

    The Role

    How many jobs do you find where you get paid to learn a language to degree level? If you have a keen interest in foreign languages, this could be the job for you!  We’re looking for people with a minimum 2:2 degree in any discipline, plus a minimum of at least a B grade at A level in any language, or former military linguists, to embark on full-time training in Mandarin language at our language training school in either Manchester or Cheltenham.  Upon successful completion of the full-time 2-year course you’ll work as a Mandarin Language Analyst at either our Manchester or Cheltenham headquarters (the location at which you undertake your training).                           

    As a Mandarin Language Analyst you’ll play a vital role in how the UK responds and adapts to China’s growing impact. You’ll combine language, technical and analytical skills to produce intelligence to help develop our understanding and improve our ability to respond to the challenges posed by our adversaries to the UK’s security, our shared values and prosperity. You’ll use your knowledge of   Mandarin every day, piecing together information collected from a variety of digital communications sources. You’ll be responding to changing world events and using your cultural expertise to provide valuable insights, sharing these insights with colleagues and senior Whitehall customers.

    While no two days at GCHQ are the same, some of the main elements of the role include:

    • Using your language and cultural knowledge to produce summaries and/or transcriptions or translations into English of material assessed as being of intelligence value, some of which may be highly technical or specialist in nature.
    • Working as part of a diverse team with a variety of specialist technical expertise you’ll develop and apply analytical skills and an understanding of communications technologies to build up the intelligence picture.
    • Establishing and managing intelligence requirements with customers in Whitehall and beyond and producing intelligence reports for other government departments, law enforcement agencies or the military.
    • Developing language technology and content-analysis technology.

    About You  

    We’re looking for talented, flexible and highly committed individuals with a desire to learn a new language. Embarking on a 2-year language retraining course in a challenging language like Mandarin requires a high level of commitment and motivation over a sustained period.   

    To be eligible to apply for this opportunity you must have a minimum of a 2:2 degree in any discipline, plus at least a B grade at A level in any language, or be a former or serving member of the armed forces who has successfully studied any language to STANAG 3+/4 level. We also encourage applications from final year undergraduates who are on track to achieve a 2:2 degree or above.  

    An interest in the culture, history, politics or societies where Mandarin is spoken, is also highly desirable for this role.

    You’ll be well-motivated, happy to work in a constantly changing technological environment and you’ll have drive, initiative, perseverance and a naturally enquiring mind that’s capable of looking beyond the obvious. You’ll have an aptitude for analytical thinking, as upon completion of the two year programme, you will be required to analyse information, hence why we test for this at our assessment centre.

    Training and Development

    GCHQ has an inclusive and supportive working environment that’s designed to encourage open minds and attitudes.  We value and nurture talent, and we’re committed to helping you to fulfil your potential.  You’ll receive a structured comprehensive training and development package in language, analysis and communications technology. You don’t need to have a technical background as you’ll receive full training and support on cyber and the technical aspects of the job.  Training will include classroom-based learning and hands-on training, which will enable you to grow your skills and perform to the best of your abilities.  We also have a Language Career Development Scheme which offers you the opportunity to broaden and develop your skills early in your career. 

    Rewards and Benefits

    You’ll receive a starting salary of £30,831 (which includes a concessionary payment). Upon successful completion of the 2-year language course you will be eligible for an additional payment of £3,000 p.a. in recognition of your language skill. Other benefits include:

    • 25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days’ public and privilege holidays.
    • Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme
    • Opportunities to work flexibly, subject to business needs
    • Interest-free season ticket loan
    • At Cheltenham you will find facilities such as a subsidised gym and restaurant, and on-site coffee bars. Manchester has an excellent city centre location.
    • Excellent pension scheme
    • Cycle to work scheme
    • Paid parental and adoption leave

    Culture and Working Environment  

    As part of our team, you’ll discover an inclusive workplace that’s welcoming, supportive and encouraging. You’ll be part of an organisation where people want to support one another and make a difference. Aside from fostering an open culture, we’ve got a range of growing affinity groups. For example:  

    • Ethnic Minority and gender equality networks.
    • Groups supporting wellbeing, mental health, neurodiversity, and disability.
    • Faith/No Faith communities for staff to come together.
    • LGBTQ+ support networks.

    You’ll also find a variety of sports, activity, interest, and social groups to help you settle in and connect with people with similar interests. 

    Before You Apply

    To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen. We do have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

    Honesty and integrity are important if you want to work at GCHQ. Take some time to read about the vetting process and make sure you meet the criteria in the vetting pages of the ‘How to Apply’ section. The process can take some time, but this is just because it’s thorough. Giving misleading information and omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously.

    The role is based in Cheltenham or Manchester, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before applying.

    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 the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application.

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