The chancellor is set to pump £500m a year into ‘T-levels’ – technical training for students aged 16-19 in sectors including construction and engineering – in Wednesday’s Budget.
The Sunday Telegraph reported Philip Hammond will attempt to put technical education on an equal footing with academic studies by replacing 13,000 qualifications with 15 standalone courses.
Courses could include construction, engineering and manufacturing.
However, the ‘T-level’ courses are not expected to be rolled out until 2019 at the earliest, according to the report.
Meanwhile Mr Hammond dashed hopes of borrowing to fund new swathes of infrastructure, describing such calls as “reckless”.
Writing in The Sunday Times, the chancellor said the Budget would focus on shoring up the economy pre-Brexit.
He said: “We need to maintain our commitment to fiscal discipline and to strengthen our economic position as we forge our vision of Britain’s future in the world.”
In an article suggesting there would be few giveaways for the construction industry, Mr Hammond criticised those calling for greater borrowing to fund infrastructure.
He said: “While we are making steady progress in eliminating the deficit, there are still some voices calling for massive borrowing to fund huge spending sprees.
“That approach is not only confused, it’s reckless, unsustainable and unfair on our young people, who would be left to deal with the consequences.”
Construction News will be liveblogging the Budget on Wednesday from midday, with comment, analysis and industry reaction on the announcements affecting the construction and property sector