Education Secretary Michael Gove will today announce an independent review of vocational education for 14 to 19-year-olds.
In a speech in London, Mr Gove will say that Britain needs to value practical qualifications and raise the status of vocational education to match that of academic study.
A radical overhaul of the system will ensure that vocational education works for young people and supports them in moving on to work or further training and study at colleges and universities, he is expected to say.
The review, chaired by academic Prof Alison Wolf of King's College London, will look at ways to improve the responsiveness of vocational training to a changing labour market and will take account of practices in other developed countries.
It will look at courses' contents and teaching methods, as well as the questions of funding and the involvement of private providers.
Prof Wolf will report back in 2011 with recommendations on how to improve the vocational education system.