The study is an investigation into the pathways of out-of-school youth and their re-entrance into the Education Training and Development (ETD) system or the labour market. In the study the pathways of youth who dropped out of school between grades 1 and 11 are traced as they seek re-entrance to the ETD system, or entrance into the labour market. Particular attention was given to the factors that determine the choices that dropouts make either in re-entering the ETD system or entering the labour market. An analysis of the experiences of the interviewed sample of dropouts is presented. The study employs a qualitative research methodology using interviews to elicit the experiences of dropouts and school managers. The participants (young people and three school principals) were selected through snowballing from a township south of Durban. Individual and focus group interviews were held. The findings provide evidence of the value of investing in education, as suggested by the youth. This is in line with the human capital theory framework that suggests that there are major benefits to investing in education. The study is concluded by suggesting the need for second chance education in South Africa.