Saturday 25 November 2017

Not-so-Secret Service: MI6 launches public search for secret agent

Daniel Craig as James Bond in ‘Spectre’. Photos: MGM
Daniel Craig as James Bond in ‘Spectre’. Photos: MGM
Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

The 'Secret Intelligence Service' (SIS) in the UK has launched a public recruitment drive looking for potential spies with "emotional intelligence".

Britain's MI6 is attempting to distance itself from the age-old trope of the womanising, emotionally-bereft James Bond archetype popular in the mainsteam movie theatre.

To this end, the SIS has launched the first-ever recruitment drive for potential secret agents which coincides with the release of the latest James Bond film. The search will focus on recruiting more sociable people from working-class backgrounds and the SIS are hoping that interest in the film will lead to a boost in applications to work for the agency.

As part of this drive, the SIS want to make very clear that James Bond and the service he works for do not represent "the modern reality" of M16. "James Bond would probably not be successful in joining SIS, if he were to apply".

"Teamwork is central to SIS's ability to deliver intelligence, and heroes working alone rarely achieve much".

The agency is targeting potential applicants with "emotional intelligence" over academic ability or experience travelling overseas, in an effort to widen the net from the stereotype of highly educated spies from middle upper class backgrounds who graduated Oxford or Cambridge.

"Having a high degree of emotional intelligence is every bit as important to SIS as educational attainment", a source said.

"They want people with a real passion for human interaction, understanding others, and dealing with the sometimes complex nature of human relationships".

A spokesperson for the The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission told Buzzfeed News that they welcome the move.

"The commission welcomes the fact that MI6 are looking more broadly and recognising that there’s talent in all sorts of places.... But the proof of the pudding will be who they actually recruit and how diverse they actually are".

Interested in applying? Click here.

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