Josslynne Masters

Case study: Josslynne Masters

Josslynne is currently a lecturer in Ship Stability, Structures and Maintenance and Celestial navigation at South Tyneside College, where she delivers specialist training to Merchant Navy officers from all around the world. 

From Law to Science

Josslynne initially went to college and studied Law, ICT and Economics for one year. However, inspired by sailors like Ellen Macarthur and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Josslynne’s passion for the sea saw her enrolling in a 3 year course at Warsash Maritime Academy in Portsmouth:

I joined the Merchant Navy as a Deck Cadet training to be a Navigation Officer. […] almost all of our work revolves around science and physics, from working out speeds, turning circles and stopping distances to weather forecasting, chemical and gas cargo care and even fire fighting!

Merchant Navy Deck Officer

The Merchant Navy draws from many different areas and skills as Josslynne mentions:

My role was to ensure the ship, her cargo and all the passengers on board remained safe at all times. I was responsible for the planning of, and maintaining, the safe navigation of the vessel as well as being responsible for the health and safety of everyone onboard. If there is an emergency on a ship you cannot call 999 for help […] When in port I was responsible for the safe loading and unloading of cargo as per company and legal requirements, as well as maintaining communications with other vessels and ports.

Driving Licence for Ships and travelling the world

Josslynne is particularly proud of achieving her qualification as deck officer:

I got a Distinction for my HND (Higher National Diploma) in Nautical Sciences and passed my professional ticket which is a little like a driving licence but for a Ship!

One of the best things about her time as a Deck Officer was being able to travel the world and get paid to do it.  Josslynne has sailed to Asia, remote islands in the Pacific ocean, the Norwegian Fjords and even to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle, the most northern settlement in the world.

Josslynne’s advice for young people

Look around, not just at the ‘normal’ or ‘obvious’. Go to as many careers fairs as you can and listen to the types of careers that are around. There will always be a career that you had never heard of and that one might just be the one for you!



Ellie Gangel

Case Study: Ellie Gangel

Ellie did her GCSEs at Longbenton, and stayed on for A-levels in Maths, Business, IT and Psychology. At the time she didn’t have strong ideas about where she was headed, and for the most part pursued the subjects she’d done best in. She chose IT because it’s a broad skill, and she thought it’d be useful to have.

After Longbenton she moved to Newcastle College for a Level 3 Vocational qualification in Business, but after a year she heard about the apprenticeship programme offered by Accenture.

You never really think there are good apprenticeships out there, but we’re college-funded, university degree funded, we still get paid at the same time. It’s a really good company to work for.

At Accenture, she’s working on a project for HMRC. Her team gets a design sent to them, then they code a system which generates tax codes and national insurance systems. As an apprentice, she draws on support from her manager and her manager in turn, but also on a ‘buddy’ — a more experienced programmer who can help out as problems crop up day-to-day. It’s clearly a supportive environment.

It’s the problem solving which makes me enjoy working with the taxes.

After her apprenticeship, Ellie wants to stay with Accenture, progressing within the company. She’s particularly interested in their work with the UK healthcare sector.