Wannabe spooks can test skills in recruitment campaign

LONDON - Wannabe spooks can test their skills in a new game designed to attract recruits to the British Intelligence service GCHQ, along with the chance to win a laptop.

Potential spies can apply for the GCHQ game, which appears on CD-rom, online at Where Careers Make Headlines. The game involves arms and drugs smugglers, and poses a series of multiple-choice questions. The outcome is given via a newsreader reading one of three potential breaking news stories, depending on which answer is given.

The idea is to give people an insight into what it is like to be an employee of GCHQ, and see how day-to-day decisions can affect the world.

GCHQ is the third arm of the British Intelligence service, along with MI5 and MI6. It gathers and analyses electronic and communications emissions, and the intelligence is then used to help form government policy and decisions.

The division has traditionally been secretive, but has decided to open its doors and let people see what it does. With heightened interest in the intelligence service, bolstered by programmes such as the BBC series 'Spooks', GCHQ is positioning itself to capture an interested audience.

The CD-rom game has been developed by the recruitment agency TMP Worldwide.

A spokesperson from GCHQ said: "In many ways we are the 'ears of the nation'. Terrorism, drugs smuggling, illegal arms trading, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction -- if it's a threat to British interests, people in high places will be looking to us to provide a picture of the evolving situation.

"The CD-rom gives a real insight into the work, and what it's like to be part of the team."

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