Conveyancers open acadamies to cope with H2B

Sam Cordon

October 15, 2013

The trade body said that while firms have already begun recruiting the problem lies with attracting the “right quality staff” which is creating a problem for the industry.

Conveyancing Association chairman Eddie Goldsmith said: “There is a dearth of really good staff. It’s a nice problem to have, but it’s still a problem.”

Dev Malle, group sales director at myhomemove, said it has recruited an additional 140 staff this year.

He said: “We have invested heavily in customer facing technology, have opened an accredited training academy with an intensive conveyancing graduation programme through which we have taken over 40 graduates to qualified status and are now in the final stages of launching a third operational site.”

Alison Roberts, legal and compliance director at Countrywide Conveyancing Services, said: “To make sure that we continue to deliver the service our customers expect we are making a significant investment in an in-house training school which will launch in November this year with a further intake of applicants in January and April 2014.

“The training school will enable us to maintain capacity and ensure the quality of our conveyancers.”

Goldsmith said the issue of finding the right calibre of conveyancer needed was being exacerbated by complexities added to the conveyancing process by the Help to Buy to Schemes.

He warned that the industry must be careful to attract the right candidates and not “foot soldiers” to fill the gap.

But Malle disagrees that Help to Buy 1, the government shared equity scheme, has had any impact on a skills shortage in the market.

He said: “With the market recovery it is true that there is a general lack of capacity in the conveyancing arena in a similar way to the problems experienced in the surveying world.

“Whilst Help to Buy will help to increase volumes which will highlight this issue further the latest Help to Buy scheme, which we expect to produce much higher volumes does not really complicate the conveyancing process as the government guarantee is something that is managed between the lender and the government.”

The only aspect that may change is that lenders may want to apply certain conditions that help them confirm the borrower qualifies for the scheme, said Malle.

He added: “Help to Buy 1, which produces far lower volumes of transactions, is more onerous with the complexity of registering an equity loan and new build title.

“Therefore I would suggest the issue is one of capacity in general not capacity based on lack of Help to Buy experience or knowledge.”

Malle said the issue of a lack of capacity in the conveyancing to keep up with volumes has occurred due to a general skills exit from the market after the crash, a lack of investment in conveyancing by law firms, little or no training and the inability by law firms to make profit from conveyancing.

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