The Upskill and Invest – Young Farmers Scholarship Program provides young farmers and/or young farm workers up to $5,000 towards training or study (Upskill), and up to $5,000 extra funding to invest on-farm or in professional development (Invest), to put new skills into practice. Each year, 12-15 scholarships are awarded to young farmers aged 35 or younger. Since the program was established in 2015, 63 young farmers have been awarded scholarships.
The scholarship program is designed to be flexible and to fit with the different demands and ambitions of young farmers. It provides young farmers and those who work directly on farm with an opportunity to invest in themselves and their career.
You can download the program guidelines for further information.
- $5,000 towards study or training (Upskill)
- a further $5,000 on completion of study or training to invest in activities that will support application of learnings from the chosen study or training (Invest).
- be aged 35 years or younger at the time of the application closing date
- have been working in a farm business in Victoria at least three days per week for the past three months
- have at least two years of total experience on-farm
- be an Australian citizen or permanent resident currently residing in Victoria.
What you need to have before applying checklist
Applicants are required to attach the following documentation to the application form as part of their submission:
- proof of your age and residency (e.g. copy of birth certificate, drivers' licence or passport)
- proof of nationality or status as a permanent resident (e.g. copy of birth certificate, passport)
- proof of employment or business ownership (e.g. a letter from your employer, provision of employer contact details and/or Business Activity Statement (BAS), evidence of purchase of business).
Responsibility of scholarship recipients
Upskill and Invest - Young Farmers Scholarship recipients are required to:
- manage all aspects of their scholarship independently (this includes Upskill and Invest activities)
- complete the full study plan and timelines as proposed in their application
- expend the Invest funds in line with the proposal approved in writing by the Department
- notify the Department in writing of any change to contact details.
After the completion of the Program, scholarship recipients may be required to participate in:
- evaluation surveys provided by the Department, and
- Victorian Government activities to promote the Program.
What do I get?
Scholarship funds (up to $5,000) can be used to meet the cost of study at a university, a registered training organisation, or with another quality training provider approved through the application process (Upskill). Completion of study or training will unlock further funds (up to $5,000) to invest in activities that will support application of learnings from the chosen study or training (Invest). This may include professional development, farm planning or other on-farm activities.
Scholarship recipients will also receive ongoing opportunities for long-term networking and support through the Young Farmers Scholarship Alumni. Please see the full set of guidelines for guidance on the types of study or training that will be supported, and a list of possible Invest activities.
Requirements of scholarship recipients
On successful application for a 2020 scholarship, recipients are required to fulfil the following over the two-and-a-half-year scholarship period:
- complete Upskill training as noted in signed agreement with the Department, within two years of commencing the scholarship
- expend Invest funds as noted in signed agreement with the Department, within six months of Upskill completion
- provide a short report to the Department at the end of the scholarship experience.
In addition, recipients are expected to do the following during and after the completion of their scholarship:
- share learnings and experiences with other young farmers as part of the scholarship program (e.g. share with local community or farming groups, write articles, present at events, mentor future scholarship recipients)
- participate in Young Farmers Scholarship Alumni through social media platforms, webinars and attending events (where possible).
Tips and hints
Applicants should demonstrate a clear link between the skills acquired through the Upskill activity and the Invest activity. View examples of how this might work in practice. Study or training in the areas of business planning and management, risk management and financial literacy are encouraged.
How to apply
Applications for the 2020 program closed on 14 June 2020.