South African unemployment in the midst of a skills crisis is surprising in view of an increase in obtaining the National Senior Certificate (Matric). Though, matric prepares candidates for higher education, for which less than 20% will enrol for. Technical qualifications even lower than matric seem to be more useful in the labour market. Unemployment can be approached from many sides, of which a curriculum approach is definitely one. With negative experience with large scale curriculum reforms, attention is lead to the community to take lead. While globalisation has traumatic effects on marginalised communities, some not only survive, but even thrive. Those are communities relying upon their own resourcefulness, and where social cohesion is strong. In the community of Hopetown, wealth exists next to poverty, the wealthy elite (increasingly multi-racial) and an economic inactive proletariat. Having two highly functional schools is a ray of hope, but does not contribute significantly enough to an employed community. Curriculum is an expression of deeply held convictions. Therefore it is an often disputed area between ideologies. Liberal individualism and socialist Marxism are ends of a spectrum. Concrete realisations are often unpleasing compromises. Analysing curricular theory, it emerges that learning happens by means of the formal, informal, hidden and zero curriculum. The local community has power to select elements from the formal, and give direction to other aspects of curriculum. Anybody’s approach to curriculum is a function of how opposing, yet complementing purposes with education and similar multitude of foci of curriculum are balanced. In schools it crystallises as a unique, collective but local exemplar of curriculum, in this study named the community based curriculum. International examples give different perspectives on what curricular power local communities have. In a qualitative study, drawing on ethnographic and phenomenologist method, community members and senior learner’s of Hopetown in the Northern Cape are interviewed to establish what learners’ employment desires are, and what labour needs employers have. The purpose is to translate that into possible curriculum components, to verify if the necessary skills are present in the community, and how to implement a community based curriculum. Findings are that learners of all walks of life covet the few “office jobs” available. A career in agriculture is enticing to prospective farmers, but the opposite to those who fear they might be labourers. As a result there is a labour crisis in agriculture, and farmers maintain that mechanisation is a result of labour shortages, not the cause of unemployment. Few other opportunities exist. Employers agree that a more productive labour force can lead to new development, but that new candidates have no realistic view of what the world of work entails. An entrepreneurial spirit and self driven work ethics seem to be absent. Recommendations go in three directions: A more progressive educational approach should lead to more self dependent adults. A culture of letting learners make errors and learn from them might make a positive difference. Encouraging senior learners to find temporal jobs should broaden their experience, and lead to better considered choices. The schools should also collaborate to offer more vocational school subjects.