Desperate Young Professionals Leave Crisis-Ridden Pakistan for Job Prospects Abroad

Pakistan Struggles to Halt Brain Drain as Economic Crisis Fuels Mass Migration

Tahir, a former education worker, recently took a leap of faith by leaving Pakistan in search of a better future in Canada. With the worsening economic crisis driving young, educated workers away, Tahir felt the need for a powerful passport and escape plan. According to the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, over 800,000 Pakistanis left the country to take up jobs last year, up from pre-pandemic numbers. This growing brain drain is a major concern for the government, as it could hinder the country’s recovery from its economic problems, which include high inflation, currency shortages, and default fears. Officials are now striving to provide a more enabling environment to keep educated youth from emigrating.

The Pakistani government has introduced several initiatives aimed at retaining talent, including 200,000 paid internships, a $37.35 million innovation fund, and a $40 million program to develop 20 poor districts. Despite these efforts, many young workers are leaving the country due to declining purchasing power and limited career opportunities. A June 2021 survey by Gallup Pakistan and the Gilani Foundation found that almost one-third of Pakistanis under 30 would like to take a job abroad, rising to over 50% among university-educated youth. Inflated living expenses and widespread corruption are also driving workers to leave. To prevent further brain drain, fostering better education and job opportunities is crucial, according to former finance minister Miftah Ismail. Many young workers who have left the country have found better prospects and a better quality of life abroad