Projects aimed at helping people into work should be subjected to "robust, independent evaluation", a committee of MSPs has told the Scottish Government.
Members of Holyrood's Finance Committee said they were "concerned about the lack of evaluation of current Scottish Government skills and employment initiatives".
The MSPs also urged ministers to consider if the number of training and employment programmes should be reduced, with the remaining schemes having "greater flexibility and efficiency".
They suggested that businesses should be involved in the design of employability projects from the start, to help ensure they meet the needs of the private sector.
In the wake of rising unemployment figures, the committee has been looking at the issue of improving employability.
Figures showed that in July to September this year an estimated 218,000 people were unemployed, compared with just 128,000 during the same period in 2008.
The figures also indicated 101,000 16 to 24-year-olds were out of work, up from 56,000 in July to September 2008.
The MSPs' report also highlighted the cost of youngsters who are not in education, employment or training (Neet) to the economy, with previous research stating that "on an annual basis, the public spending implications of Neets in Scotland could potentially be of the order of £1 billion".
The committee found there were a "significant number of different initiatives, programmes and strategies" in Scotland aimed at helping people into work.
But they urged the Government to "consider whether a fewer number of programmes encompassing greater flexibility and efficiency might be the way forward".