James Bond will be Aston Smartin after real life spy chiefs urged secret agents to swap supercars for bicycles.
The Secret Intelligence Service – aka MI6 and SIS – has introduced a cycle-to-work initiative to encourage operatives to go green.
Under the spokes-for-spooks scheme staff from the espionage agency – made famous by the movie exploits of Aston Martin-driving fictional spy Bond – can spend up to £4,000 on a new tax-free bike and safety equipment.
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It is part of a Government mission to promote healthier journeys and reduce pollution.
Spy chiefs have launched a recruitment drive to find new agents with a range of espionage skills and the cycling scheme is being offered as a key incentive.
New roles advertised on MI6’s website include Arabic and Russian language specialists and technical operational officers with expertise in cyber security.
Recruits – who are also being offered jobs at sister spook agencies MI5 and GCHQ – will be based at a range of locations across the UK including London, Manchester and Cheltenham.
A number of roles involve overseas travel.
The positions come with different rewards and benefits.
But all include the cycle scheme aimed at encouraging more environmentally-friendly lifestyle choices.
Successful candidates will go on to help protect His Majesty’s Government’ fromoverseas threats such as regional instability, terrorism, and cyber-attacks’ but must live `within a commutable distance’ of their workplace.
The agency promises to offer recruits a good work/life balance, including the option of flexible working’ depending onoperational need’.
Other benefits include a civil service pension, discounted healthcare scheme and 25 days’ paid annual leave.
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The website promises would-be spies: "We also provide generous shared parental/adoption leave and pay, childcare vouchers and a subsidised children’s holiday play scheme."
Agents can also take advantage of an on-site restaurant and gym at MI6’s London HQ overlooking the River Thames, which was famously blown up in 2012 Bond flick Skyfall.
The agency stresses the welfare of staff is at the top of its agenda.
Its website says: "In an organisation dedicated to protecting the country, keeping staff safe and supported is really important.
"Our specialist people in the well-being teams work with staff both in the UK and overseas, and support their families too.
"And with initiatives like social clubs and societies, occupational and mental health provision – any part of the SIS family can get the support they need, whenever they need it."
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