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The European Commission launched the 'We Mean Business' campaign, which aims to encourage companies to create more trainee placements to boost young people's skills and employability.
At the same time, traineeships can help young people make a smooth transition from education and training to a first good job. Placements can also bring benefits to companies, enabling them to identify potentially excellent future employees who could, with their fresh ideas, be key to future productivity and competitiveness.
As part of its Youth Opportunities Initiative, the European Commission undertook to increase by 30% the number of Leonardo da Vinci and Erasmus work placements for vocational and higher education students.
In 2012, at least 130 000 young people will receive support for a traineeship in a workplace abroad. This figure should rise to 150 000 next year.