At a time when youth unemployment is on the rise and the needs of youth are moving up on the agenda, the research aims to explore in particular the experiences of marginalized youth in South Africa. Through comparatively exploring the life-worlds of youth from rural, township and urban backgrounds and their participation in a youth employability programme, the study hopes to better understand the significance of special post-school training and approaches and youths perceptions four years after programme completion. Through the case study it is hoped we can unpack the components or ingredients that seem to make a difference, understand how they can be implemented and thus stimulate discussion on broadening the parameters of traditional youth programming. The frameworks chosen provide an overarching lens to understand various dimensions of the research. They assist to challenge and stimulate discussion on the need to broaden the parameters of design and implementation. When youth are engaged in interventions, it appears many actors feel the primary outcome is increased economic outcomes leading to development of a country s Gross National Product (GNP). In this study it is argued that this traditional focus has led to an oversimplified approach to training done with youth, as it appears to often exclude substantive development of skills required in the workplace and indeed affective skills for life. Amartya Sen s Capability Approach is used to expand a traditional definition of development and include valuable functionings. A second framework, a model of Identity-Based Motivation shows that there is not only an issue with regards to specific components taught but that socio-cultural structural contexts must be taken into account. The third framework a cycle of Adolescent Empowerment explores the final dimension, which is how the programme is implemented and how programmes of this nature can be made operational.