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A principal employer organisation (PEO) is a corporation that employs, or intends to employ, 25 or more apprentices and/or trainees for the purpose of placing them in hosting arrangements. The corporation is responsible for ensuring those apprentices and/or trainees receive suitable training and experience. To achieve this aim, the PEO will find a suitable 'host' employer for placement of each apprentice or trainee to work on a daily basis.

A host employer is an organisation that hosts, under a written agreement, an apprentice or trainee employed at that time by a PEO.

An apprentice or trainee employed by a PEO may spend their entire apprenticeship or traineeship with one host employer who can offer them a well rounded training experience. Alternatively, the apprentice or trainee may be rotated around a number of host employers to ensure that they receive the full range of skills required to complete the apprenticeship or traineeship.

Registration as a PEO in Queensland is governed by the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (the Act).

Under the Act, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training can recognise an organisation that meets the requirements as detailed in the Principal employer organisation operational manual, to operate as PEOs.

Last updated 2 March 2018

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