A CARE provider founded in Dorset more than 30 years ago has been named one of the UK’s best companies to work for.

Portland-headquartered Agincare Group came third in a national league table, behind pest controller Rentokil Initial and tech giant Apple.

Other big Dorset employers including Lush, JP Morgan and Barclays also featured on the list, based on reviews left by staff at the jobs site Indeed.

Agincare was commended for its supportive management and a good work-life balance.

The business was started in 1986 by chairman Derek Luckhurst, who had previously worked in the defence industry and had spotted a gap in the care home market.

He bought a home in Weymouth and called it Agincourt – the first in a line of homes to be named after historical battles. The company’s second and third homes were Bosworth and Crecy, also in Weymouth. With government policies stressing community care in the 1990s, Mr Luckhurst expanded to create the independent provider Agincare to provide home care and manage the growing portfolio of residential homes.

Originally based at Weymouth’s Harbourside, the company bought a rundown site at Castletown in Portland in 2014 and turned it into a new HQ. Today, it has 3,500 staff in 50 locations.

Poole’s world-famous cruelty-free retailer Lush Cosmetics – co-founded 24 years ago by former Weymouth Grammar School pupil Mark Constantine – is in fifth place on the list.

Bill Richards, UK managing director at Indeed, said: “Britain’s job creation boom may be easing off, but it’s still very much a jobseeker’s market - in which companies have to fight hard to attract the staff they need to grow.

“With private sector employers facing stiff competition for the best talent, many companies realise they need to offer more than just an attractive salary. Other factors can be just as important when it comes to wooing good people.

“Reviews posted this year on Indeed’s website by tens of thousands of employees demonstrate just how much value they put on a good work-life balance and a positive work culture – and how likely they are to research and consider these factors before deciding to apply.

“The companies in our top 25 scored consistently highly across all categories, and reviews from their staff show what a decisive difference these factors make in how they are regarded as employers.”

The full top 25 was: 1 Rentokil Initial, 2 Apple, 3 Agincare Group, 4 Wren Kitchens, 5 Lush Cosmetics, 7 Barclays, 8 Nandio’s, 9 Kumon, 10 JP Morgan Chase, 11 Siemens AG, 12 PwC, 15 Marks and Spencer, 16 IKEA, 17 Bakkavor, 18 GlaxoSmithKline, 19 John Lewis & Partners, 20 Waitrose & Partners, 21 RBS, 22 Clarks, 23 BAE Systems, 24 Lloyds Bank, 25 Arnold Clark.