The Rapid Employment Project, REP, was officially launched by the Government yesterday.

The launch, with some SBD$56 million dollars provided by the World Bank, represents the culmination of the preparation and the commencement of the Rapid Employment Project.

The REP aims to provide short term employment and training for the urban unemployed in Honiara. The Project will provide the opportunity for urban residents to increase their incomes through short term employment and acquire the knowledge, skills and experience that are necessary to operate in the work place.

The project, which is being jointly implemented by the Honiara City Council and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, will provide roughly 500,000 days of work to approximately 7,500 beneficiaries over a five year period.

The employment opportunities will mainly consist of works in and around Honiara, such as road repair and maintenance, garbage collection and other labor intensive activities with a focus on those areas less well served.

It is expected that a majority of beneficiaries would be youth from 16 to 29 and women.

Additional co-financing is being provided through the World Bank's State and Peace-building Fund and the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility, which is also co-funded by AusAID and the New Zealand Government.