What is a Group Training Organisation?

A group training organisation (GTO) is an organisation that employs apprentices and trainees, and then places them with a host employer who they work for whilst receiving on-the-job training for their apprenticeship or traineeship. These organisations may be registered or un-registered group training organisations, which operate for profit, or not-for-profit. They may also be labour hire companies.

GTOs support the apprenticeship and traineeship system in Australia by providing:

  • employment for apprentices and trainees
  • opportunities for employers who can’t support an apprentice or trainee for the full term of an apprenticeship or traineeship, or think it is too administratively cumbersome, to still take on an apprentice or trainee
  • employment opportunities for apprenticeships and traineeships that otherwise might not have existed.

GTO role and responsibilities

As the GTO is the legal employer of the apprentice or trainee, the GTO is responsible for:

  • meeting all obligations as an employer of an apprentice or trainee under the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001.
  • recruiting each apprentice or trainee and ensuring they are suitable for placement with a host employer.
  • arranging the placement with the host employer to begin on the commencement day of the Training Contract.
  • ensuring that the details of the first host are included on the Training Contract.
  • arranging the off-the-job (formal) training with a registered training organisation for each apprentice/trainee, including working with the RTO and host employer to develop and renew the training plan.
  • screening each potential host employer to ensure they are suitable to host an apprentice/trainee, and that they understand their responsibilities as part of this arrangement.
  • monitoring and providing support to both the apprentice/trainee and host employer so they meet their respective responsibilities and successfully complete the apprenticeship or traineeship.
  • payment of wages, allowances, superannuation, workers’ compensation, sick/holiday pay and other employee entitlements, and completing all associated paperwork.

Host Employer role and responsibilities

The host employer is responsible for:

  • providing employment and on-the-job training for the apprentice/trainee consistent with the apprentice/trainees’ training plan.
  • providing appropriately qualified supervision at a level reflective of the apprentice/trainee’s level of experience.
  • providing a safe work environment free from bullying and harassment.
  • releasing the apprentice/trainee from work to attend/undertake formal training and assessment undertaken by the RTO.
  • participating and contributing to the workplace assessment of the apprentice/ trainee.
  • advising the GTO if there are issues with the performance or attendance of the apprentice/trainee.

Benefits for learners employed by a GTO

There are a number of benefits to being employed by a GTO including:  

  • if a placement with a host employer doesn’t work out, or if the host is no longer able to offer work, the GTO will work to place the apprentice or trainee with another host employer.
  • if a host employer cannot offer the full range of work/on-the-job training necessary for an apprenticeship/traineeship, the GTO may rotate the learner to another host employer.
  • apprentices/trainees employed by GTOs have the opportunity to gain experience across a number of different workplaces.
  • GTOs monitor the on-the-job and off-the-job training received by the apprentice/trainee to ensure that high quality and relevant training is provided in a safe environment.
  • ongoing support is offered to apprentices/trainees to make sure the training contract runs smoothly and to help troubleshoot any problems that may arise during the course of the training.
  • some GTO’s offer assistance in finding permanent employment at the completion of the apprenticeship/traineeship.

Benefits for host employers using a GTO

There are a number of benefits for host employers using GTOs including:

  • GTOs are particularly useful for small and specialised employers who might not have the capacity to employ apprentices or trainees for the full period of the training contract.
  • the GTO will arrange for all formal training for apprentices and trainees.
  • the GTO monitors both the on-the-job and formal training to ensure that high quality and relevant training is provided in a safe environment.
  • the GTO takes care of all wages, on costs and employment records, leaving the host employer free to run their business.
  • ongoing support is offered to apprentices/trainees and host employers to make sure the training runs smoothly.

Registered GTOs in NSW

In NSW, GTOs may be registered under the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act (2001). To be registered in NSW, a GTO must demonstrate that their organisation is compliant with the National Standards for Group Training Organisations [pdf 57KB]. These Standards are designed to ensure that registered GTOs are able to provide nationally consistent, high quality services. Registration is not mandatory in NSW. For details of registered GTOs in NSW, visit Registered GTOs in NSW. If you are interested in being employed as an apprentice or trainee by one of these GTOs, or would like to host an apprentice or trainee, please contact the GTOs directly.


Page last updated: 20 September 2017