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Our Partners

We work closely with a range of partner organisations that provide our students with opportunities and support on their career pathway journeys. 

Our partner organisations come from the worlds of sport, medical and allied health, health and social care, law, business, leisure and media/marketing/digital. They provide a mixture of both formal and informal support across a number of disciplines. They provide real world work experience opportunities, skill development and employer-led experiences that bring your learning to life. 

Students will visit our partners’ workplaces, work with their employees, experience mock interviews and see first hand how what they learn in the classroom translates to the world of work. Many of them also offer highly desirable work experience placements – including in medicine and law – exclusively to our students. All students have equal opportunity of access and support to apply.


One of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, owned by millions of members. They’re the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer; the UK’s number one funeral services provider; a major general insurer and a growing legal services business.

They employ nearly 70,000 people and are a recognised leader for their social goals and community-led programmes. With their headquarters in Manchester, Connell works in partnership with the Co-op Group to give our students workplace experiences.

Our students have the opportunity to apply for placements that give them the opportunity to work in a variety of areas including finance, marketing, communications, HR, customer services and legal. Students get the opportunity to experience a selection process and a project management style of working as well as being able to experience working life in One Angel Square (Co-op HQ).

Find out more about the Co-op Group.


Connell is built on land gifted by the club and so our relationship with Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) and its charitable foundation, City in the Community has always been strong.

Our students benefit from access to a wide range of professionals and work related experiences in sports science, nutrition, psychology and rehabilitation as well as broader areas of the business operations such as media, marketing, comms and legal.

Our students’ curriculum experience is enhanced by access to a wide range of local and national businesses via the club’s strong community links and business partnerships.

We’ve been working closely with the club since 2022 to help our students better understand employment opportunities in the green economy and the needs of businesses to move to net zero.

Find out more about MCFC.


For over 30 years MCFC’s charitable foundation has been making a difference in community sport for people of all ages, including those with disabilities and health issues.

The City in the Community (CITC) football pathway gives students a daily opportunity to train under the expert guidance of its coaching team.

Students on this pathway compete on a weekly basis and are able to participate in a wide range of sporting community activities and events. Outside of this provision, they offer weekly training sessions to our wider student body as well as supporting us with curriculum enrichment and careers education.

Find out more about the CITC.


Nuffield Health (NH) is the UK’s largest healthcare charity. They exist to build a healthier nation through outstanding services in 37 award-winning hospitals, 114 fitness and wellbeing clubs, healthcare clinics and over 200 workplace wellbeing services.

They are committed to delivering sustainable, inclusive and meaningful impact in their communities. They employ over 5,000 healthcare professionals and have a number of centres across Greater Manchester.

Connell is working in partnership with NH to help our students with career ambitions in medicine or allied health are able to access high quality, meaningful work experience opportunities with healthcare professionals. All students studying a health related course will visit clinical settings such as the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance.

Medical professionals will talk to students about their experiences and career pathways. Work experience days will enable students to work in simulated healthcare scenarios under the guidance of health professionals. Nuffield Health staff will stage mock interviews and help students to prepare for university applications. 

Find out more about Nuffield Health.


GLL is a not for profit charitable social enterprise committed to delivering a better quality of fitness, leisure, libraries and performing arts facilities for everyone. They are one of Manchester’s biggest employers in the sport and leisure industry.

They manage over 258 facilities across the UK. In Manchester, this includes community and elite sporting venues such as the National Cycling Centre and National Basketball Performance Centre; as well as local leisure centres, such as East Manchester Leisure Centre and Manchester Aquatics Centre, and many more. 

Connell is working in partnership with GLL by providing students studying BTEC courses in Sport, Coaching & Development, Sport & Exercise Science and Health and Social Care a guaranteed interview and employment trial.

Employment with them can run throughout your time at Connell and beyond into university or full time employment. They are a real living wage employer providing flexible working hours. They will provide you with training and qualifications, enabling you to progress in the sports industry.

Find out more about GLL and Better Leisure.


Slater Heelis is a full service law firm with origins dating back 250 years, providing legal services for business and individuals. From family law to employment, crime to corporate, advising on the purchase and sale of homes and assisting people to write their wills, clients can manage all their legal affairs with us. 

Connell is working in partnership with Slater Heelis to offer our students work experience opportunities across their broad range of services – solicitors and legal professionals as well as non-legal teams such as HR, finance, IT and marketing. The HR team will also provide CV writing and interview skills workshops.

Find out more about Slater Heelis.


Co-op Academies Trust, 1 Angel Square, Manchester, M60 0AG

Company registration number: 07747126
0161 692 4309 /