Labour is calling for the creation of new 'technical universities' offering degrees vital to the future of the UK economy.
These institutions would be involved in greater collaboration with employers, schools and colleges, as well as having greater links to enterprise zones. Pupils could be able to study on "earn while you learn" courses, developing their skills while in employment.
Shadow education secretary Liam Byrne has outlined the proposals in a new pamphlet for think tank the Social Market Foundation.
Technical universities would help to create new 'ladders of opportunity' that could combat the decline in social mobility Mr Byrne argues is currently occurring.
"We've got to build a bigger knowledge economy, home to better-paid jobs and open to anyone with talent, no matter whether they want an academic or a technical path in life," said Mr Byrne.
The Labour Party minister also advanced the idea of a student premium, which would operate in a similar manner to the pupil premium, providing universities with extra cash for every disadvantaged pupil they take on.
Posted by Theo Foulds