Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Safety First?

MI5 want a new health and safety boss but they can't tell you anything about the job

Fancy a job in spying? But this one is for spying on the spies – MI5 is advertising for a new head of Health and Safety to ensure Britain’s secret agents are working in a safe environment.

However, for anyone tempted to apply for the £60,000 a year job there is a slight obstacle.
Applicants will be told nothing about the buildings, people or locations they will be working with – to protect national security.
They won’t even be told “much about the job” they are a candidate for.
The Security Service prides itself on its secrecy and only the Director General is every publicly named.
As a result, it openly admits that that there is somewhat of a risk for anyone applying to be the next head of health and safety.
The advert, posted on the spy agency’s website, reads: “We can’t show you the buildings.
“We can’t talk about the people you’ll work with.
“We can’t tell you much about the job.
“We can’t give you the exact locations.
“We can’t mention the kind of technology involved.”
But, on the upside, it adds that if it is “still a risk worth taking?”, then: “What we can tell you is that whatever your role at MI5 you’ll be contributing to protecting the UK from threats to national security including terrorism and espionage.
“Like other large organisations, at MI5 we use a variety of equipment to carry out our work, except here our work is often covert and our equipment classified. That can raise interesting challenges when it comes to health and safety.”
As far as job description goes, it will be “London-based wit some UK travel”.
And while MI5 officers are working to stop terrorist attacks: “Our Health and Safety team develops systems and procedures to ensure that across the spectrum of our work we meet our health and safety responsibilities and that we conduct operational activity as safely as possible.”
The job will, of course, become a lot clearer for the successful candidate who will be given access to buildings and people.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The Security Service works within the law – including health and safety laws – and needs people with a variety of different skills in a wide number of roles.
“Some of its work is routine, but each member of staff helps the Security Service protect the UK from threats to national security and espionage.

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