[singlepic id=388 w=320 h=240 float=left] Around 500 school leavers with a disability will gain important work and life skills thanks to $6.6 million in State Government funding delivered through the Post School Services program.

Disability Services Minister Curtis Pitt said the funding, delivered through the 2011-12 State Budget, would put hundreds of Queensland school leavers on track for a brighter future.

Mr Pitt was attending the CairnsExpo 2011 for students, family members, carers, and educators of young people with a disability to learn about post school options.

The event enables school leavers with a disability to explore the different options and supports available to them once they leave school and embark on study, work and other opportunities in their local communities.

“Leaving school is a milestone in the life of all young people, and in the lives of their parents and families,” he said.

“And while helping school leavers plan their future is an important issue for all families, it is especially so for those with a son or daughter with a disability.

“This funding will give young people the life skills, personal supports, and the links to services they will need to make the most of their lives once they leave school.”

Mr Pitt said the State Government’s Ten Year Disabilities Plan launched in Cairns last month had a strong focus on supporting young school leavers.

“Our Ten Year Plan includes a new strategy to support Year 11 and Year 12 students with a disability,” he said.

“The My Future: My Life strategy will get underway in February next year and it’s set to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“It will provide funding directly to families to help them plan for their children’s life after school.”

Mr Pitt said the CairnsExpo 2011 played a valuable role for young people with a disability.

“This expo provides advice and information that supports young people with a disability through the important but often stressful transition to life after school,” he said.

“It enables students and their families explore the many options available to them, including work, study or other community options.”

Mr Pitt said in 2011/12 the Queensland Government was providing over $50 million to support young adults with a disability leaving school.

“We’re committed to helping young Queenslanders and their families to plan for the future,” he said.

“That’s why we’re investing in more services which help school leavers make the transition to adulthood.

“They deserve more employment, training and social and we’re getting on with the job of providing them.”

People with a disability, their families and carers can now find information on government supports and services at www.qld.gov.au/disability.