As part of the NSW Government's $300 million Drought Strategy, a $45 million Farm Business Skills Professional Development Program has been developed to support farm business in all conditions, but particularly in relation to preparing for and responding to drought.
On 4 November 2015 the Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water, Niall Blair, announced the first stage of the program (PDF, 162.32 KB), calling for education and service providers to apply for pre-approval of courses.
In the next stage, farmers will be able to complete pre-approved courses, or apply for consideration to attend another course which they have identified as meeting their particular requirements.
Approved participants will be able to claim reimbursement of costs upon completion of the course. A maximum reimbursement of $5,000 over five years applies for any farmer with reimbursements capped at $9,000 per farm business.
Three professional development priority areas have been identified: