Mission possible — Britain’s secret service trawls for new talent

LONDON, April 27, 2006 (AFP) – Britain’s secret service, famed for lurking in the shadows, launched its first overt recruitment operation on Thursday, calling on men and women who are looking for a challenge. For the first time in its 97-year history, MI6, the country’s foreign spy agency, published an open advertisement in a newspaper.

“From now on there will be regular general advertising campaigns for careers in the Secret Intelligence Service,” it said in a statement.

Historically, MI6 is believed to have recruited promising individuals through covert introductions and recommendations.

The agency has grown, however, in line with a rise in international terrorism and it is now thought to employ around 2,000 staff.

MI6’s inaugural advert in The Times gave a hint of what life as a spy might be like, with a montage of images including a gun, desert, jungle, and plane, as well as the service’s imposing headquarters in central London.

It says the agency operates around the world to make Britain “safer and more prosperous”, and hires “people we can depend on because everyone in the UK depends on them”.

The campaign, which is apparently aimed at new graduates and people considering a care