Teenagers who undertake the technical training, such as courses to become an engineer or builder, will spend 50 per cent longer learning than they do now, equalling 900 hours of teaching a year.The new qualifications, which will see the courses dubbed “T-levels” – the technical version of A-levels, are due to be piloted from 2020.Mr Hinds said that he welcomes the huge rise in university applications, particularly among students from deprived backgrounds.But he added that this may not be the best choice for all school leavers, and that teachers need to make students aware of the other options.”I want young people to be aware of the range of opportunities and to be able to make an active choice,” Mr Hinds said. “For many of them the right choice will be to go to university – but for some it might not be. “We all understand what A-levels are, we have got to make sure everyone understands what T-levels are in the same way, that they are on a par with A levels.” Philip Hammond unveiled his “radical” plans to put technical education on an equal footing with academic studies in his Budget last March.The current system, where students have to pick from 13,000 different qualifications, will be replaced with just 15 standalone courses. The prime minister has previously said the notion that vocational education was for “other people’s children” needed to change.Theresa May urged people to “throw away” the old-fashioned attitude that university is the only desirable route for young people. Middle class parents have “snobbish” and “outdated” attitudes towards vocational studies, the Education Secretary has said. Damian Hinds urged schools to do more to promote technical training as an option for 18-year-olds, rather than only encouraging them to apply for university. He said that vocational courses and apprenticeships need to be presented in a more positive light to youngsters, so that bright and ambitious school-leavers do not see a degree as the only option.Asked whether middle class parents are opposed to their children taking technical courses, Mr Hinds said: “I think we’ve all come across examples of snobbery towards vocational routes.”He added: “There are still some outdated attitudes – partly because people aren’t necessarily aware of how some industries have evolved and therefore how technical training and education and certification has evolved.” –– ADVERTISEMENT ––Mr Hinds, who is on a fact finding mission to Germany and the Netherlands this week to learn about their technical qualifications, added that people in the UK are now starting to see that non-academic pathways are “equally valid”.Last year the Government announced that it would be launching the biggest overhaul of post-16 education in 70 years, as part of a multi-billion pound drive to improve technical training. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.