The percentage of Pakistani youngsters who want to leave the country has surged to a worrying 67 percent, according to Dr. Faheem Jehangir Khan, Senior Research Economist at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). Khan made the statement while speaking at the two-day EconFest festival, where he also emphasized the need to discuss issues faced by the younger generation and find solutions.
Khan highlighted that 31 percent of educated youth in Pakistan are without jobs, further adding to the frustration of the country’s youth. He pointed out that while there are more than 200 universities in the country providing degrees to thousands of students, obtaining a degree does not guarantee employment.
There is a growing responsibility on teachers to help equip students with the necessary skills, but students also need to consider entrepreneurship as a viable option. As the country faces economic challenges, it is critical to create an environment where entrepreneurship can thrive and employment opportunities can be generated.
A previous survey conducted by PIDE revealed that the desire to leave Pakistan was most common among young people aged 15 to 24, particularly young men, with at least 62 percent indicating that they wished to leave the country. Economic reasons were cited as the primary factor driving this desire to leave, followed by the pursuit of equal opportunities and respect.
The issue of brain drain is a significant challenge for Pakistan, as it not only results in a loss of talent but also in a loss of resources that have been invested in educating and training these young people. It is therefore essential to find ways to retain and incentivize skilled workers in the country.
The EconFest, organized by PIDE, aimed to encourage debate and discussion on the country’s economy and related sectors. With the unemployment rate among educated youth at a concerning 31 percent, there is a pressing need for constructive dialogue and action to address this challenge. Only through collaboration and concerted effort can Pakistan hope to create a better future for its youth and the country as a whole.