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Defining the brain drain Defining the brain drain
by Joseph Gatt
2019-04-29 06:22:24
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You essentially have three types of brain drain. You have a brain drain involving people with high school or university diplomas who leave the country to settle elsewhere. You have the brain drain involving people with work experience moving to another country. And you have the brain drain where people with skills leave the country. Sometimes people with both features or all three features leave the country.

When people with university diplomas leave the country

People with university diplomas often leave the country because there is no clear career track awaiting them, and because the pay scale is rather low. That is people with diplomas find that companies within their country often do not provide clear, predictable career tracks and career evolution tracks for their workers. Lack of predictable career tracks leads workers to be incapable of providing predictable evolution tracks for themselves and their families.

In some cases, people with diplomas leave because other countries can value their university diploma more than it is valued in their home country. That is in some countries a university or high school diploma can provide you with a career, a pay scale and a career track that does not exist in your home country.

braindr001_400When people with work experience leave the country

While people with diplomas have little to offer other than the often theoretical knowledge they acquire in academic institutions, the real tragedy is when people with work experience leave the country. That is people work in your country for a few years, gain valuable experience, but then leave the company and the country to settle in another country.

Losing people with work experience means you lose people who have realistic expectations about the job, who know how to get the job done, and who can train other workers to have realistic expectations about the job and get the job done.

People with work experience often leave the country because of poor career tracks, low opportunities for promotions, and because power tends to be concentrated at the top and tends to be off-limits for those who are not members of the power structure. Such workers leave for other countries, providing work experience and often skills to companies at other countries.

When people with skills leave the country

Skills can be computer or engineering skills, building skills, foreign languages or simply practical skills like reading and writing and accounting skills.

People with skills tend to leave the country for two main reasons: either the country does not provide jobs that accommodate their skills, or the country does have jobs that accommodate their skills but doesn't provide a healthy work environment or clear career tracks to use their skills.

When you lose people with skills you lose your skilled workforce, and often have to import a workforce that has the skills to get the job done.

What the consequences for the brain drain are

When you lose people with diplomas, you often lose a workforce that has patience, deference for authority, ability to get the job done, and that provides tasks well done in their field. That means you have to import workers with those features. Importing workers with such features tends not to be easy, as you need to find people willing to relocate and make a great deal of sacrifices. Importing such workers also costs a lot of money, whereas keeping people with diplomas in would have saved a great deal of money, as local workers have lower expectations about housing, schooling children, and salaries.

When you lose people with experience, you often lose a workforce that has realistic expectations about the job, who can get the job done and who can train local workers. That means your workforce often has unrealistic expectations about the job, and there's no one to train them to get the job done. Importing workers can be complicated, as such workers often have to learn your local language and adjust to the local work culture.

When you lose workers with skills that another disaster. Your workforce can't get the job done, as most workers who can get the job done tend to leave. That means you have to import workers who can get the job done, at great cost.

Overall, the brain drain leads to a slower economy, to low productivity results, to lower production levels, and to a time segmentation of the economy, that is you can only get the economy to start producing when you import workers.

And when there's a brain drain, you tend to lose the workers almost permanently. That is workers rarely come back to work in the country, as they tend to hold jobs and stick to their jobs.

So when there's a brain drain, you lose:

-An educated, patient, docile workforce

-A workforce that has realistic expectations about the job

-A workforce that is accustomed to working

-A workforce that has the skills needed to get the job done

To conclude, a small note. Some countries have the opposite of a brain drain that is a drain of low-skilled workers with no experience and no formal education. I'll discuss that some other day.


    
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