The government has published a plan for improving productivity in the UK, with education forming a key part of its efforts.
A new compulsory apprenticeship levy has been introduced, requiring large businesses to invest in their own future, while further education qualifications are to be radically streamlined as part of a drive to create a highly-skilled workforce.
Meanwhile, the cap on student numbers will open up UK universities, and maintenance grants will be replaced with loans to ensure higher education institutions have access to sustainable investment.
Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne said: "The only way to sustainably raise the living standards of the citizens of our nation is to confront the challenge of our lifetime, to raise productivity."
UK productivity levels have lagged behind those of other advanced economies since the financial crisis. If the UK were to match US productivity rates, it would raise gross domestic product by 31 per cent.
Posted by Harriet McGowan