Confusion and funding will be among the issues to be probed by the Scottish Parliament's enterprise and lifelong learning committee during its inquiry into lifelong learning.
The committee agreed a remit for its work at a meeting in Edinburgh on Tuesday.
Alex Neil, its SNP convener, wants MSPs to come up with "a long-term comprehensive strategy for continuing post-school education and training in Scotland which meets the needs and aspirations of individuals and society as a whole."
Last year's economic development committee report found there were too many bodies doing similar things in lfelong learning, leading to confusion and duplication.
A report for MSPs from the Parliament's information centre outlining the issues cites a study which claims there has been little real progress towards a strategy for skills and lifelong learning in the UK over the past 20 years, beyond an insistence that "something must be done" to make the workforce more adaptable and flexible.
Substantial sums are, however, being invested: last year the two enterprise organisations along with the further and higher education funding councils spent just short of pound;1 billion on lifelong learning.