The government is promising to invest fresh cash in preparing young people for the new global economy with investment in technical training.
Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed the new £500m plans he called "game-changing" in his Spring Budget on Wednesday.
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.
Learning hours for those in technical training will rise by 50 per cent and will include high quality work placements, while they will get maintenance loans in the same way as those following academic routes do.
The reforms will follow the recommendations set out last year by Lord Sainsbury in his review of technical education and will help businesses find well qualified candidates and plug the skills gap many report when hunting for staff.
“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.