The German army has launched a project to train Syrian refugees in reconstruction skills intended to help them rebuild their country after the war.

The Bundeswehr, which officially launched the project on Thursday alongside Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, will provide the refugees with sanitation, engineering and construction training.

The courses began on Monday and are taking place in six locations in Berlin and the states of Lower Saxony and Bavaria.

"Reconstruction will require more than new stones, it will take people with confidence and a range of skills," von der Leyen said in a statement issued by the Bundeswehr.

The pilot project was initially intended for 120 refugees, but only 45 candidates deemed suitable have been found.

At the height of the refugee crisis last year, some 9,000 Bundeswehr soldiers were deployed across Germany to help manage the influx.

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