Graduate Programme
graduate scheme
Expires14 days

Graduate Programme

Job description

The Think Ahead programme is a new route into social work, for graduates and career-changers remarkable enough to make a real difference to people with mental health problems. At Think Ahead, we want to see a society where everyone with mental health problems can flourish.

That won’t happen unless people can improve their social circumstances – because life issues like relationships, living arrangements, and employment have profound effects on mental wellbeing. Our paid, two-year graduate programme combines on-the-job learning, a master’s degree, and leadership training to enable talented people to make an impact right away and throughout their careers.

Why join Think Ahead?
On Think Ahead’s paid two-year programme, participants:

  • Make a genuine difference to the lives of people with mental illness
  • Acquire unique experience in a challenging and varied role with immediate responsibility
  • Rapidly build expertise by working in a variety of multi-disciplinary teams alongside clinical professionals
  • Gain world-class qualifications, becoming a fully qualified social worker with a post-graduate diploma and a master’s degree
  • Start a fast-track career with leadership training and transferable skills

What we are looking for

Leadership: the ability to act as a professional role model, demonstrate initiative, and engage others and enable them to achieve their goals. As a mental health social worker you will lead the coordination of individuals’ care, engaging with different colleagues and professionals to work towards someone’s recovery. You may need to be creative in your approach to situations as you work with individuals, their carers, and other professionals.

Motivation: personal commitment to transforming the lives of people with mental illness, with an understanding of the positive impact of social work and the Think Ahead mission. We are looking for people who are committed to making a positive impact for individuals, families, and communities. You need to understand how social work contributes to improving mental health, and how Think Ahead is making a difference.

Adaptability: resilience and flexibility in changing circumstances, with the ability to work under pressure and deal with uncertain or unexpected outcomes. Social work is an ever-changing environment and you will need to be prepared for every eventuality, including crisis situations. Your work with vulnerable adults will put you under pressure, and you will need to remain calm and patient in unexpected situations. You will work with a variety of different people in a range of working environments.

Relationship-building: empathy and respect for all individuals, with the ability to build relationships and understand people’s motives and perspectives. You will need to develop strong relationships with people, from service users and carers to colleagues in mental health, government, the legal system, and many other services. You must be able to listen to others and respect their opinions, and confidently put forward your views as an advocate for the people in your care.

Communication: the ability to collaborate with and influence a wide range of people, in person and through written communication. You will need to communicate effectively and respectfully with people whose ability to communicate may be impaired by their illness. A vital element of your role will also be collaborating and negotiating with other mental health professionals (such as psychiatrists and psychologists) and people from other organisations. As well as communicating assertively in meetings and discussions, you will need to create robust, concise written arguments, for example in writing Mental Health Act tribunal reports.

Problem-solving: the ability to objectively analyse situations, using evidence and clear judgement to generate effective solutions. You will have to make decisions under pressure, in complex situations with only conflicting or incomplete information available. This will require you to apply your knowledge of legislation, policy, and social work interventions, using clear judgement and objectivity.

Self-awareness: the ability to understand, and reflect critically on, both your own personal development and how your actions affect others.

To manage your personal wellbeing and your impact on the people you work with, you must be in touch with your own emotions and abilities. You will manage a pressured workload and face difficult ethical judgements, so you must be aware of professional boundaries and know when to seek support and advice. You will be required to regularly reflect on your work, seeking feedback and engaging in continuous professional development.

Right to work in the UK.


  • 2:1 or above in any undergraduate degree subject (except social work)
  • At least a grade C in English and maths GCSE

Accepted degree subjects


How to apply

Click Apply to start your application now. This job will be available on Prospects until 10/05/2019

Don't forget to mention Prospects to employers when you contact them.

Closing date: 10/05/2019


Additional job details

LocationUK wide


ContractFixed term
Working hoursFull-time

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