Today we open applications to join the Think Ahead programme in July 2018!
We’re looking for around 100 talented graduates and career-changers to take on a graduate job that is both rewarding and challenging – one that will make a remarkable difference to adults living with mental health problems.
If you’re motivated to do something about the mental health challenge, and you recognise the crucial role that social circumstances play in mental health, then our two-year graduate programme in mental health social work may be for you. You’ll be paid to work in an expert team alongside clinical professionals, study for a master’s degree, and develop your leadership skills.
We’re looking for people who are ready to take an intensive route into a profession that’s challenging both intellectually and on a personal level. If that sounds like you, then you can find out everything you need to know and make your application on this website.
What’s the job like?
Today we’ve released a new film which follows Maisie, a 2016 Think Ahead participant who is set to qualify as a social worker later this month. Watch it to find out about her work and the impact she has had.
To find out more about the job you can listen to episodes of BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind which follow 2016 participants Charlotte, in East London, and Al, in Coventry, as they visit some of the people that they are supporting.
Our About mental health social work page also has information on the different activities mental health social workers undertake, and how you could progress your career in the profession, plus stories from social workers and the people they support.
Who joins Think Ahead?
The graduates and career-changers who have joined Think Ahead so far come from a wide range of backgrounds, with undergraduate degrees ranging from psychology, sociology, and politics, to archaeology, drama, and sports science.
You can hear from some of our participants on our Who we’re looking for page. They each have different stories, but they share a commitment to making a real difference to people with mental health problems. Read about them here.
How does the programme work?
First, you spend six weeks together with the whole annual intake at the residential Summer Institute, preparing to go into the workplace. Then, you spend two years learning on the job in community mental health services, with extensive support from experienced professionals and academic tutors.
You can find out more about the programme, and details like working hours, leave, and pay, on our How the programme works page.
How can I boost my chances of being accepted onto the programme?
It helps to apply early, because we run assessment centres and offer places on a rolling basis during the application period. The earlier you apply, the more likely you are to be able to attend an earlier assessment centre (if your application is progressed to that stage).
It’s important to fill in your application carefully though. The whole selection process is designed to test the seven Think Ahead attributes, and your application needs to give us convincing evidence that you have these qualities.
It also helps if you can drive, because many of our participants are placed in locations where driving is the only practical way to get around and visit the people you work with. It’s not essential to be able to drive, because some locations don’t require it. But if you hold a driving licence, or you are willing to learn before July 2018, you will be more likely to get a place on the programme.
You can find out more about eligibility criteria, the selection process, and see more tips and guidance, on our How to apply page. (We will announce the final application deadline with at least two weeks’ notice.)
When you’re ready, you can apply here.