Suffolk Business Awards 2021: Employer of the Year winner

Catherine Johnson (Birketts), Duncan Johnson, Katte Innes, Karen Burrowes, Keith Buet and Jodie Woodrow (Pure Executive)

Left to right: Catherine Johnson (sponsor – Birketts), Duncan Johnson, Kate Innes, Karen Burrowes, Keith Buet and Jodie Woodrow (sponsor – Pure Executive) - Credit: Matthew Potter Photographer and Videographer

Vertas Group, an Ipswich-based facilities management company, has been named winner of the Employer of the Year award, sponsored by Pure Executive and Birketts, at the Suffolk Business Awards 2021.

Employing 4,000 staff across Suffolk and the UK, Vertas Group delivers commercially-focused services in areas ranging from grounds, landscape and property management to cleaning, catering and security.  

The judges applauded the company’s continued elevation of progressive people and culture strategies, which ensure it is an employer of choice within the region and beyond.

They were impressed with the scale at which Vertas delivers inclusive, innovative and inspiring development programmes at all levels, and how it champions new ways of working and offers enhanced benefits, health and well-being programmes and rewards.

Vertas consistently demonstrates its firm commitment to ‘Making a difference’ to its colleagues, their families and the wider communities in which it serves, always looking for continuous improvement in everything it does.

Strong leadership, communication, care and engagement has been key to the company’s continued success.

Kate Innes, associate director at Vertas, said: “This is fantastic, it feels incredible to win for all of our people. We have put in a tremendous amount of work over the last 18 months, so to win this award really is the icing on the cake. 

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“Business really is based on great people, and if we did not have great people we wouldn’t have a great business.”


About the sponsor

Pure Executive is the executive search division of Pure, a leading professional recruitment company for the East of England. Specialising in board appointments, both executive and non-executive, it works in partnership with privately-owned organisations, non-profit and listed businesses across diverse industries.  

Birketts is a leading regional law firm with an impressive national and international network of clients. With a reputation for being forward-thinking and ambitious, the firm has over 750 lawyers and support staff working from offices across the east of England and London. 


The finalists

Access Community Trust  
Access Community Trust supports socially-isolated individuals and communities in Suffolk from its Lowestoft headquarters and more than 20 satellite locations throughout East Anglia. First established as a homeless shelter in 1975, the charity was praised by judges for its inspiring, rewarding and fair working environment where all employee contributions are recognised and valued.  

Concertus Design & Property Consultants 
Concertus impressed the judges with its training ethos, which gives each employee the opportunity to strengthen their long-term professional development – from seminars, conferences, in-house and external training sessions to degrees and professional qualifications. The company employs over 180 people and has gone from strength to strength since being founded in 2013.  

Cory Brothers Shipping Agency  
Headquartered in Ipswich, Cory Brothers employs nearly 200 people and is a passionate supporter and sponsor of the Suffolk community. The company was quick to reassure its team it would be looked after when the first lockdown came into force, and the judges praised the opportunities it gives all employees, regardless of level.