The Capability Approach has been adopted in a number of European projects on poverty, social exclusion, and social justice. This approach is primarily used as a yardstick measuring real freedoms for people in disadvantaged positions. In addition, it has had an important impact on policy making by urging politicians, employers, and other stakeholders to develop capability-friendly policies. Drawing on original data gathered as a part of a study of educational offers for young people, this article discusses whether a capability-friendly policy is sufficient. As an alternative the authors opt for capability-appropriate policies. The introduction is followed by a section presenting important elements of the transition from welfare to workfare aiming at understanding the background of youth policies. The next section presents and discusses the development of youth policies as a prelude to our case study (EGU). The case study shows a discrepancy between ideal and practice. Policy on a national level seems capability-friendly whilst local implementation is characterized by capability-unfriendly features. As this is a political issue it can be solved by means of a policy aimed at closing the gap.
Keywords: Capability approach, education for young people, welfare, pay-fare