The government is promising to invest £500m a year in technical training for young people to ensure they have the high level skills needed by businesses in the future, in a huge shake up designed to boost the country's productivity.
The radical overhaul of post-16 education will see a dizzying array of 13,000 different qualifications whittled down to 15 specific routes into professions by 2020, in areas such as engineering, design and construction with the goal of getting them into well-paid work.
The plans, hailed as the biggest shake-up in 70 years, will be announced in chancellor Philip Hammond in the Budget on Wednesday.
And businesses are "delighted" with the plans for so-called T-levels, said the Confederation of British Industry.
"Increasing the number of teaching hours for technical subjects is fundamental to delivering world class training for our young people in every part of the UK," said CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn.
“There has never been a more important time to address the UK’s skills shortages. Investment in skills by employers and the government, working together in partnership, are the key to giving young people the opportunities they need to succeed."
The reforms will follow the recommendations set out last year by Lord Sainsbury in his review of technical education.
“Targeted investment of this type makes economic sense – our international competitors recognised long ago that investing in technical education is essential to enhancing national productivity," he said.
Hammond will also earmark £40m for exploring approaches to help adults re-train and learn new skills to keep up with the changing world of work