Spy agency lauded for empowering social mobility

Surprises all round as Britain’s overseas secret service named as a key employer driving social mobility in the UK.
By: | November 14, 2019

Britain’s international intelligence service has won praise from an unexpected source, with the Secret Intelligence Service (known as MI6) named as a key employer driving social mobility across the UK.

The Social Mobility Foundation – which aims to improve opportunities for young people from low-income backgrounds – included the agency in its list of 75 such egalitarian employers for the first time in 2019.

David Johnson, CEO of the SMF, said MI6 had dedicated resources and energy to recruit a much more diverse workforce in the last few years. “They are very aware of the stereotype; that you go to Eton, Oxford, (and other ‘red brick’ educational institutions) and then you become James Bond,” he said.

“They also realise that there’s an awful lot of talent in the country that would not even consider working for them or think that they would be suitable candidates.”

The rankings come as MI6 continues a recruitment drive to attract increasing numbers of women and ethnic minority entrants. The agency is looking to recruit 800 new staff by 2021.