Scheme helps kickstart construction career for Elivia

BELLSHILL’S Elivia Martin has secured a full-time job as a dumper truck driver with Advance Construction after joining the company on the government’s Kickstart Scheme.

The construction business recruited Elivia on the scheme aimed at helping young people aged 16-24 at risk of long-term unemployment.

Elivia, now 23, was facing an uncertain future after losing her job during the pandemic. She heard about the scheme in her local job centre and applied for the job at Advance.

“It was really tough during lockdown, I was stuck in the house all the time and had to borrow money from family and friends just to keep going,” she explained. “When this opportunity came along I jumped at it.

“They have been really good with me, putting me through the dumper truck and compliance qualifications at the Advance Training Academy in Livingston. They lent me all kinds of books and were encouraging me every step of the way.”

The Kickstart Scheme provided funding for the temporary position for six months but even before the end of that time, it was clear Elivia was a real asset to the company.

Contracts manager John Irvine said, “From the moment she started with us we were impressed by her attitude, she just gets on with things and she has very quickly become a valued member of the team.”

For Elivia, it has been a life-changing opportunity. She added, “I love my job and have now moved into my own house in Bathgate which is close to the site I am working on for one of our housebuilder clients in Lasswade.”

Elivia is now an advocate for women in the construction industry. She said, “I first started doing handy-man jobs when I was 14 and I realised I was good at it and started working in construction full-time at 18. Although I am the only woman on site it doesn’t bother me, everyone is really nice, and I definitely think that girls should think about construction as a career. There are so many different trades you can learn and career routes you can follow.”

Her next goal is to pass her driving test, so that she can drive trucks from site to site as she can’t take them out on the road without a full UK driving licence. She added, “With the pandemic backlog it has been hard to get a test but hopefully I will get on the road soon and my existing skills will give me a bit of an advantage.”