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Royal Society Annual Diversity Conference 2016 - Keynote Address

Andrew Parker addresses an audience at the Royal SocietyMI5 Director General Andrew Parker today called on the country's scientific and technological sector to continue to play its crucial part in keeping the country safe.

In an address to the Royal Society's fourth annual diversity conference, Mr Parker spoke about the rich mix of skills MI5 needs to stay ahead of the threats in a rapidly changing world.

Today, the most visible threat is from terrorism and in particular that posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Daesh in Syria. Together with MI6, GCHQ and the police, MI5 has disrupted 12 plots in the UK since June 2013.

Following his talk, Mr Parker said:

"ISIL is an enduring threat, here to stay, and is at least a generational challenge. MI5 and the intelligence agencies have good defences because of the investment made in our capabilities. We will find and stop most attempts to attack us, but not all."

MI5 also continues to be busy working to counter threats from terrorism in Northern Ireland and the activities of hostile states seeking to carry out damaging espionage.

Mr Parker said all MI5's successes had relied on the innovation, talent and expertise of staff in IT, science and technological roles - and that these skills were increasingly needed in countering the threats the UK faces.

He added:

"MI5 has a vital, critical dependence on the best and brightest minds to help us stop these threats. Scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians play a crucial part in keeping the country safe. I pay tribute to their work and I call upon others in these disciplines to consider the varied and challenging roles a career in British intelligence can offer."

Mr Parker talked about the necessity of a diverse and inclusive workforce to make MI5 more successful in its mission to keep the country safe.

He said:

" My experience is that for all the challenges MI5 faces, we are stronger and better placed to rise to them with the richest mix of talents we can find. It's what makes it less likely people will be killed by terrorism or our secrets will be stolen from under our noses."

MI5 is currently recruiting for a number of roles which require specialist IT, scientific or technological skills. Please visit the Careers pages.

31 October 2016


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