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HUNDREDS of people across the region could benefit from a government decision to change the rules on free tuition for further education colleges.

Ministers have reversed an earlier ruling that ended free tuition for employment-related training and education courses for people who do not work and are on a range of benefits including income support and disability living allowance.

Chichester College registrar Julia Bowering explained: ‘The new rules mean that if someone is unemployed, receives a state benefit and want to take a course that will help them get a job, then they are eligible to take a government -unded course for free.’

Hazel Foster, head of information, advice and guidance services at Highbury College in Cosham, said: ‘We are delighted the government has reversed the decision over fee waivers and that so many more people may now qualify for free tuition.

‘This is an excellent opportunity for many people on benefits to take their first step towards getting a job. Successfully completing a course can give them the confidence to find work.’