Think Ahead social work training programme

About Think Ahead

We have partnered with the mental health charity Think Ahead and will have mental health social worker training places with them from summer 2023.

Think Ahead’s paid, two-year programme combines on-the-job learning, a master’s degree, and leadership training for people looking to make a real difference to people with mental health problems.

Times are tough for us all right now, especially for those of us living with mental health problems. You could choose a career that changes lives. With the right support, from the right person, anyone with a mental health problem can thrive. You could be that person - giving that support.

Support for the things that matter most to us all: housing, family, employment, relationships, and community. As a mental health social worker you would support people living with severe and long lasting mental illnesses, such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, empowering them to reach their full potential and navigate these all important life issues.

About the Think Ahead programme

The Think Ahead graduate programme in mental health social work:

  • provides services with talented new staff
  • gives the recruits and existing staff advanced training in social interventions
  • supports organisations to integrate these approaches across their services
  • Think Ahead’s paid, two-year programme combines:
  • on the job learning
  • a master’s degree
  • leadership training

Year one: Participants qualify with a postgraduate diploma in social work.

Year two: Participants are employed for at least one year as qualified social workers and gain a master’s degree in social work.

Benefits of the programme

  • Get paid to train on the job, working alongside clinical professionals in NHS Mental Health Trusts and Local Authorities.
  • Gain two qualifications: qualify as a social worker and earn a master’s degree from Middlesex University.
  • Join one of the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

Entry criteria

  • Applicants need a 2:2 undergraduate degree or above in any subject except social work, and at least a grade C GCSE in Maths and English or English Language (not English Literature), or an equivalent level 2 qualification.
  • Applicants do not need prior experience in mental health or social work.

The deadline for the next Cohort is coming up soon for the programme which starts in July 2023. There are currently a few places available in Lincolnshire.


Contact information

Think Ahead website. 

Email the Recruitment Team:

Email the Social Work team at LPFT: 

Ben Mitchell, one of our LPFT Trainee Social Workers, said:

"The Think Ahead program allows me to combines my passion in mental health with my previous work as a substance misuse specialist and in safeguarding. It enables me to have an income, whilst studying for a Masters degree before moving into a paid full-time role. For me - it seemed like a no brainer!

"I am a huge advocate for change and empowerment and I believe that given the right tools and guidance, people can and are able to make those changes for themselves. For those who aren’t able, I think being able to ensure that their best interests are kept at the core of the work you are doing is such an important job.

"Every day brings new challenges and opportunities to learn and develop, both as a person and a professional."

Michaela Colbert, said:

"I love LPFT as its values are aligned with mine in the sense of having a holistic approach in offering support for service users.

"Both LPFT and Think Ahead have a passion to help vulnerable individuals improve their life outcomes in the hope they can flourish.

"I really would recommend Think Ahead. You will get invaluable experiences in a very supportive environment. It is intense and hard work, but you will reap the benefits.

"LPFT offer lots of additional training and development opportunities and once qualified, there are so many career options open to you!"

Looking to do something that matters? You can change your future and the future of people in the East of England.

Join us Wednesday 22 February 5.15pm - 6.15pm for a fantastic Think Ahead virtual event. You can find out more information and ask any questions you may have about the programme or working at LPFT.