Reception and integration programmes have often a dominant socio-economic focus that supports refugees’ swift movement into the labour market. This article examines the assumptions that such programmes make about their core target group and how this corresponds with participants’ diverse needs, drawing on conceptual work around the intersectionalities of age, relationalities, and migrant capital to do so. It employs data from interviews with, and observations of residents of an asylum seeker centre in Utrecht, the Netherlands, participating in an innovative programme that aimed to help them ‘integrate from day one’ through co-education and co-housing. We examine the assumptions of the programme, including its inclusive orientation, but show how it appealed implicitly to younger participants. By exploring experiences of participation for a more marginal group of participants in the mid and later phases of professional lives, we show how the programme worked better for a core, younger group, but in doing so, inevitably supported those already advantaged. We argue that programmes need to be adaptive and responsive to the heterogeneity of participants, who vary by age, relationalities and possession of resources among other intersectionalities, to support all the populations they serve.