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Grants for businesses operating in NSW regional eligible industries

The NSW Government has established the Regional Skills Relocation Grant to increase the availability of skilled and experienced workers for businesses setting up in, relocating to, or existing in regional NSW.

Grants will be available for businesses operating in NSW regional eligible industries. The funding is available to assist with the relocation costs of eligible skilled workers they employ that move from metropolitan areas to regional NSW.

Approved businesses will be reimbursed up to $10,000 to assist with the following relocation costs incurred by eligible skilled workers they employ:

  • furniture removal
  • travel for immediate family to relocate
  • temporary accommodation for up to three months
  • furniture storage for up to three months.

The NSW Government has committed $10 million for applications over the next four years—$2.5 million will be available each year, providing 250 grants of up to $10,000.

Grants are available from 1 October 2018.

Who can apply

Eligible businesses must be operating in a NSW regional eligible industry and:

  • relocating to, or setting up in, regional NSW and creating at least five ongoing full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in a regional local community, or
  • already operating in regional NSW and seeking to recruit eligible workers.

The business must be seeking employees that:

  • are relocating from a metropolitan area to regional NSW. Regional residence must be at least 50km from original metropolitan residence and within the same region as the eligible business
  • have an occupation listed on the NSW Skilled Occupation List
  • are Australian citizens or permanent residents on the date they commence employment.

Eligible industries

Eligible industries vary by region and are identified in the Regional Economic Development Strategies (REDS). The regions normally have a competitive advantage and tend to trade their goods outside the local area or sell their services to non-locals. Retail and restaurants are ineligible because they only operate and sell locally. Examples of eligible industries include:

  • agriculture
  • forestry
  • manufacturing
  • mining
  • tourism.

Other eligible industries are those that provide key inputs or services to an eligible industry identified in the REDS. For example, transport and logistics are eligible where they address barriers faced by eligible industries such as agriculture and manufacturing.

In rare cases, population-serving industries that are typically ineligible may extend service provision beyond the Functional Economic Region (FER). These industries may be deemed eligible where it can be demonstrated that such service ‘exports’ are material to the FER.

The government has determined eligible industries for each region using the applicable REDS prepared by the Centre for Economic Regional Development.

How to apply

Businesses will need to register with the NSW Investment Concierge Service. Registered businesses operating in eligible industries will be invited to complete an online application form.

Application process



  • Registered businesses operating in applicable eligible industries are invited to complete an eligibility form.
  • Eligible businesses receive confirmation and a grant pre-approval ID, valid for six months.


  • Businesses notify the department within five days of filling the role and complete a grant activation form.
  • The department determines the eligibility of the employee and provides confirmation of grant activation.


  • Eligible employees must have worked a minimum of three months before relocation costs will be reimbursed.
  • Businesses submit reimbursement form with copies of paid invoices to receive grant payment.


  • Business and employee complete an evaluation survey up to 12 months from employee commencement date.

Find out more

Read or download the below documents for more information on the grant.

  • Regional Skills Relocation Grant Guidelines
  • Regional Skills Relocation Grant Fact sheet
  • Regional Skills Relocation Grant FAQs
  • Skilled Workers Expression of Interest

    An Expression of Interest (EOI) form is available for skilled workers in metropolitan areas to register their details, occupation and interest in the NSW regions they would consider relocating to.

    Information provided in the EOI form will be offered to businesses deemed eligible under the Regional Skills Relocation Grant to help match skilled workers with businesses seeking their skills. Submission of the EOI form does not guarantee a role with a regional NSW business.

    Click HERE for an overview of the eligible occupations.