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Three West Berkshire companies on Sunday Times Best Places to Work list

Vodafone, AWE and Gamma recognised for achievement

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Three West Berkshire companies on Sunday Times Best Places to Work list

Vodafone UK human resources director Adam Parsons

TWO of West Berkshire’s largest employers have been featured on the Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to work for list, while a third is among the Top 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for.

Vodafone, which has its UK headquarters in Newbury, jumped from 18th place to seventh on the list, while AWE, in Aldermaston and Burghfield, entered the list at number 24.

The Best Big Companies award is open to companies with 3,000-plus full-time employees, with those achieving the highest Best Companies Index (BCI) scores featuring in the top 25. 

Last month, Vodafone announced that it intends to commit £10m investment to its Newbury campus, as well as a net gain of 600 staff, creating a technology and digital nerve centre of the future in the area.

AWE, which designs and manufactures warheads for the UK’s nuclear deterrent, made the list due to its “commitment to flexible working, an innovative working environment and world-class apprenticeship opportunities”. 

Vodafone UK human resources director Adam Parsons said: “It is thanks to the commitment, hard work and motivation of our Vodafone UK team that we are now among the top 10 best big companies in the Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For in the UK.

“To be recognised for giving something back and the most improved big company is also great news:”

AWE chief executive Iain Coucher said: “We have put a great deal of time and effort into driving leadership development and general engagement throughout the company.

“We are really seeing the benefits of this work and our ongoing focus on employee engagement.

“We have seen significant improvements, not only in survey sentiment but in the level of response – 77 per cent in our most recent survey. 

“Building an effective and high-performing organisation requires a huge investment in time and resource. 

“It takes time, but quietly, steadily and systematically we are seeing change happen.

“We want people to feel engaged because then they are connected – to each other and to the business.

“It means that people understand how they are contributing, the part they play in successes and achievements and this builds stronger working cultures.

“It engenders pride, excellence and trust – all fundamental to our way of working.

“We have a unique and responsible mission to fulfil and having an engaged workforce is key in its delivery.” 

Also making the list of the Top 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for is Newbury-based Gamma. 

The company, whose offices are in Kings Road West, provides telecommunications services for the business market.

Gamma human resources director Pam Williams said: “It’s quite amazing to be recognised for the seventh year now. 

“We really take pride in our employee engagement here at Gamma, making sure we’re hiring the best talent in telecoms and looking after our people.

“Being in the Top 100 Best Companies to Work For is an achievement to be so proud of – it’s a real stamp of quality.”

West Berkshire Council’s executive member for economic development James Fredrickson (Con, Victoria) said: “We’re thrilled to see West Berkshire’s businesses on this prestigious list.

“As a council, we are working hard to create a fantastic environment in which to do business, which will be a focus of our new Economic Development Strategy.

“We’ve currently got 9,000 businesses in West Berkshire, from creative independents to world leading innovators, and it’s our priority to help them to grow and succeed.

“People are clearly proud to work for the companies that made this list, which is a key part of a happy, inclusive workplace.

“This is yet another reason why West Berkshire is a great place to live, work and learn.”

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Article comments

  • NoisyNortherner

    28/02/2019 - 10:37

    I'd love to know the criteria that these surveys are measured against, and who they ask about it. I work in the industry, and Vodafone isn't usually held up as a paragon of being a great place to work.