Group Training Organisations (GTOs) are the primary employer of trainees and apprentices under the Federal government's Australian Apprenticeship scheme. They then on-hire the trainee/apprentice to a host business while they undertake their training at a Registered Training Organisation under a Training Agreement.
At the heart of an Australian Apprenticeship is competency-based assessment. Employers and trainees/apprentices agree on the range of competencies they wish to develop and then learn and demonstrate these competencies in the workplace. The emphasis is on giving the trainee/apprentice opportunities to demonstrate their competence. As a vocational ‘competency based’ qualification, the focus is on their ability to apply their workplace knowledge to the issues raised in the study material and on the application of their practical work experience and problem solving.
During the traineeship/apprenticeship, GTOs are responsible for various elements including recruitment, payroll, entitlement payments, human resources and industrial relations. This takes the load off the host employer and let's them concentrate on core business activities. A GTO is an incorporated organisation operated on commercial business terms.