Emma Capone, apprentice at her deskJust two months in to my apprenticeship at Land Registry and I’m already processing applications and on my way to getting a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration. Coming straight from sixth form into the world of work was a difficult decision for me, especially seeing the majority of my friends going off to university or taking gap years. Nevertheless I decided to be different from the majority of my peers in the hope that I would find not only a successful job but also one that would allow me to experience working as a civil servant and help me to progress into the next stage in my life, and here I am!

I’m not going to lie to you – before I started my apprenticeship I had never heard of Land Registry. I’d always wondered what a civil servant did; all I knew was that they worked for the government! So, obviously I had no idea what to expect. When I went for my interview I adopted the mind-set to just be myself and felt very proud when I got the email to say that I’d got the job. I was pleased to find out that I had been chosen as one of the nine new apprentices at the Croydon office. However, I did have mixed emotions when the prospects of finally starting a full time job sunk in!

New Croydon apprentices

Apprentices in the Croydon office

Being with the other apprentices and learning together has been the most enjoyable aspect for me. We’ve already formed a strong team that get on well and help each other to progress. It was nice to not be the only newbie around too! We were all in the same boat at the start so it was nice to settle in together and learn how to process casework and develop our knowledge on the different aspects of Land Registry. Everyone has been very welcoming and I’m particularly grateful to my supervisors as the support they’ve given me has really helped me to build my confidence.

When we first started we had lectures about charges and discharges (their meanings completely different to what we thought before joining Land Registry!) It was all alien to us and it wasn’t until we actually got onto our computers and started processing applications that it all made sense!

Now we’re well on the way to reaching our Operations Manager’s targets. Along with this, having to incorporate my BTEC work as well as obtaining successful daily units has been challenging. Getting a balance between the two along with training is sometimes difficult, some days being busier than others. However, we have kept track of our progress successfully through huddles ensuring that we set ourselves achievable targets, so this has really helped us to keep stability within our apprentice team. My role of communications has allowed me to ensure that my colleagues are updated with any important information regarding casework as well as any events or news articles/blog updates and I have enjoyed taking on this responsibility so far.

Casework seemed quite daunting when we began our training programme as we had various sessions each day focusing on both the background to Land Registry and the typical aspects of a register. This helped me to know what to look for when processing charges and discharges later on, for example, checking panel nine for a change of address. The training sessions were very useful, although it was a lot to take in within such a short space of time so it took some practice to really feel comfortable with dealings and creating requisitions. Plus it’s been really valuable working closely with an experienced member of staff to help guide me and check my work.

Aside from doing casework I have made an effort to involve myself in events and other projects. So far I have organised our Christmas party with two other apprentices; it’s been a harder task than I originally thought! I’ve really enjoyed getting involved in as much as I can and intend to continue to make my day to day work more varied through involvement other than that of casework.

Apprentices visit Lincoln Inn Fields

6 Croydon Office apprentices and Operations Manager, Shane Bartlett, at the First World War memorial

I also gave a presentation to the 36 new recruits at their open evening with another apprentice. We talked about what we’ve been doing so far and how we’ve found it. This was particularly challenging as I get very nervous with public speaking, so the fact (hope) that we pulled it off was very satisfying!

For me, the fact that the senior staff and our training instructors have been friendly and supportive has made the experience so far very enjoyable. Although they do like to keep us on our toes, which has helped me to get to grips with both casework and keeping on track with my BTEC assignments. I look forward to what the months ahead will bring, whether it be learning how to transfer the ownership of a property or helping to organise the next event!

Emma Capone
By Emma Capone,
Apprentice/Registration Officer at HM Land Registry