Britain's spy agencies have launched an apprenticeship scheme for teenagers to find the next 'James Bond', it has been not-so-secretly revealed.
MI5, MI6 and GCHQ are looking to recruit up to 100 apprentices to create the next generation of spies. The spy students will be snapped up after finishing school and put through two years of intensive training. Until now, espionage hopefuls were traditionally plucked from university.
A spokesman for GCHQ said: "Our apprenticeships are a genuine alternative to university in a leading-edge technology environment that will open up multiple career paths. Candidates won’t just be working with the very latest technology, they will be involved in creating it.”
The security and intelligence agencies are hoping to encourage young people to join before going to university and aim to dispel the common belief espionage experts are made up of members of the upper class only.
GCHQ added: "Apprentices with Intelligence dispels the myth that apprenticeships are for low paid or manual work and that a career in the Intelligence Services is the preserve of privately-educated men."
Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the apprenticeship scheme during a visit to Bletchley Park, made famous by code breakers such as Alan Turing, who are credited with helping to shorten World War II.
The Foreign Office said young people from the "Xbox generation" were needed in the secret service as they had grown up in today's world of "social media, global connectivity and interactive gaming".
During the two years, candidates will learn to tackle terrorism, organised crime and counter spying, and work with some of the world's most advanced technology.
The scheme will focus on attracting talented teens who have not been to university but who may have vocational qualifications in STEM subjects such as science, technology or engineering.
Applicants will need three A-levels or an equivalent qualification to qualify for the scheme and must apply before the end of November.
And, if you still need some convincing, maybe a sneak peek at Daniel Craig in the new Bond film Skyfall will make your mind up...
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