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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Why the learning process isn’t all one way...

THIRTY years separate a Workington telecommunications specialist and his young apprentice. However, the learning process between 57-year-old Trevor Cayton, of Stainburn, and 17-year-old Ryan Fleming is not a one-way affair.

CECayton
learning zone: Ryan Fleming and Trevor Cayton at Northside, Workington

“He might be the apprentice but he has been able to teach me a lot about the computer networking side of the job,” said Trevor, of Online Systems.

At a time when the Government is urging UK companies to create more apprenticeships, Online Systems managing director David Newstead is delighted with his latest recruit.

“I took on Ryan 18 months ago and he is proving to be a real asset to the business,” he said. And that’s a view echoed by his Workington mentor.

“The computer networking part of the industry is becoming even more relevant in today’s world of telecommunications, whereas I come from the relay and valve era,” explained Trevor. “Ryan has been using computers all his life, is utterly comfortable with them and talks about computing with so much enthusiasm.”

Nevertheless, Ryan is on a big learning curve when it comes to the traditional aspect of physically building, installing and configuring systems.

“Trevor is brilliant as a mentor and has really brought me out of myself,” said Ryan.

“He has taught me so much about cabling, being totally professional on a job, how to work and talk with customers, solve problems and always leaving a place of work clean and tidy.”

For Trevor, mentoring Ryan, who lives in Whitehaven, has added to his own job fulfilment.

“Seeing Ryan’s reaction after he has cracked a difficult problem that I have set him is incredibly rewarding. I genuinely get a lot of satisfaction seeing him grow week by week,” he said.

“But it is a two-way learning process for us. This industry is always evolving, sometimes at a dramatic pace, and technology is moving on all the time with computers, software and networking becoming even more important.

“Ryan is naturally comfortable with that aspect of technology and brings a lot to the table.”

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