Firms at Wilton will be the very first in the country to have complete freedom over how their apprentices are trained with government cash.
The bid was spearheaded by Sembcorp on behalf of the Wilton site, and is due to be finalised next month.
The bid leaders spoke exclusively to our Industrial Correspondent Rachel Bullock in this report below.
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The country's first museum dedicated to coal miners' art showcases the pitmen's desire to tell the hidden story of their lives underground.
The announcement is part of a £500 million cost-cutting drive which will take place over three years.
The force wants to raise awareness of the scale of the problem which affects areas across the UK, including the north east.