Mon 6 March 2017
Vocational and technical education in England is to get an extra £500m a year in a bid to train more skilled workers and boost the economy.
The plans, to be set out in the Budget, also include replacing 13,000 existing qualifications with 15 "routes" linked to the needs of employers.
Students in further education or at a technical college will also be eligible for maintenance loans.
The new courses are expected to start from the 2019/20 academic year.
The government is calling the plans the most ambitious education reform since the introduction of A-levels 70 years ago.
The funding will increase the amount of training for 16 to 19-year-olds' by 50%, to 900 hours a year.
A government spokesman said the move was part of its plan to tackle weaknesses in the UK's productivity levels, and so improve living standards.
Chancellor Philip Hammond told The Andrew Marr Show skills were one of the big issues the government needed to address.
He said the UK needed to do significantly more in training and "upskilling" young people to prepare the economy for a post-Brexit future.
He wants there to be a "genuine parity of esteem" between the academic and technical routes to employment.