Teesside teen helps keep Nifco’s IT system trouble-free


It’s not every teenager that can lay claim to being an apprentice trouble-shooter.

But then not every teenager is Amaan Ayoub.

The 19-year-old plays a key role in keeping the IT infrastructure at Nifco UK in tip top condition.

As a Middlesbrough College IT Network Engineer apprentice Amaan spends 90% of his working week fine-tuning his IT skills at Nifco UK’s Eaglescliffe site.

The other 10% of the time he receives specialist training and support from assessors and lecturers at the college.

Nifco UK designs, develops and manufactures functional plastic components, from door handles to bumper brackets, for the automotive industry including manufacturers Nissan, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota and Honda

And Amaan and his mentor, IT engineer Steve Swindles, do everything they can to make sure the technology at Nifco remains trouble-free.

Should an issue arise the pair swoop in – superhero style – to get things up and running as fast as they can.

Amaan, pictured above (centre) with boss Mike Matthews (right) and IT manager John Tinkler said: “The experience and training I’m getting at Nifco is second to none.

“It’s pretty hectic at the minute as we’re rolling out some improved anti-virus programmes and carrying out basic trouble-shooting while keeping the networks running smoothly and ironing out any issues.”

Steve said: “Amaan’s skill level is improving all the time and by mixing the theory with hands-on experience his confidence is growing and he is regularly identifying potential issues before they become problems.”

That hands-on experience varies day to day in an environment like Nifco.

Amaan is getting experience of a wide range of infrastructures, from the technologies being used in the factory such as equipment moulding machines, to the software and systems relied on by the company’s office staff.

And Steve’s personal career history is benefitting Amaan immensely – he worked in the chemical industry originally, with computing as a hobby where he attended night classes learning about Networking, Software and Hardware, until redundancy forced him to rethink and make a career change.  He then spent nine months completing a night class whilst working during the day, and managed to achieve Microsoft certification.

It’s that study that helps Steve understand the challenges facing Amaan as he gets to grips with new skills and putting the theory into practice.

Steve said: “I can relate to Amaan, and he knows he can ask my advice should he feel he’s struggling with anything, and even though he’s the only apprentice I’ve had, his enthusiasm is encouraging.”

Amaan – who left Macmillan College with six GCSEs – said: “Nifco’s a great company to work for and the level of training I’m getting as well as the support from the wider team is amazing. The company is looking to double in size in the next five years which means the team will have to grow, so there are lots of opportunities for progression and development.  I’d like to think I might be successful in securing a permanent job here when my apprenticeship comes to an end.”

John Tinkler, Nifco UK’s IT Manager said “Amaan shone at the interview stage, and has already proven to be a valuable member of the IT team”.


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