Students taking higher-level technical courses in areas such as construction, digital skills and social care will be able to apply for maintenance loans from the 2019/20 academic year, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced today.

The loans will be available to those on technical education courses at levels four to six in national colleges and institutes of technology, and come as part of the Government's investment of more than £500 million in technical education.

Maintenance loans are loans which help pay for students' living costs, eg, food, books, accommodation and travel.

Full details of the loans, including maximum amounts and means-tested elements, are yet to be announced, though a Treasury spokesperson told us that they are expected to be in line with current student loans.

The Government said the move was designed to "open up the same opportunities available to those studying on the academic route".

It also confirmed today that maintenance loans for part-time undergraduate students and doctoral students will be introduced from 2018. For more on student finance see our Student Loans Mythbusting guide.