TORONTO -- A study conducted for the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses concludes that high schools do not adequately prepare students for joining the workforce.

The national group primarily represents small and mid-sized businesses, which have been saying for months that they are having difficulty filling job vacancies.

The 29-page report says there's a mismatch between the expectations of employers and youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years.

However, the survey of CFIB members found the biggest difficulty is with high school-age workers -- with more than half indicating some level of dissatisfaction.

It recommends high schools place more focus on soft skills and workplace literacy and that they create more partnerships with the business community to ensure the right skills are being taught.

The report says employers are overwhelmingly more interested in young employees with good motivation and attitude and other general skills while industry-specific knowledge and previous work experience are much lower priorities.