Exodus of Skilled Manpower: A Wake-Up Call for Nepal

Published On: July 20, 2023 09:00 AM NPT By: Sandeep Thapa

Nepal has a lengthy history of labor migration. For almost 200 years, Nepali men (and, to a lesser extent, women) have left their homes to pursue jobs and live abroad. Even before the well-known recruitment of British-Indian troops, poor Nepalese fled high taxation, forced labor, and exploitation by state agencies. Currently, a large proportion of workers fly overseas temporarily with the intention of returning to their native country. Unfortunately, in recent years, Nepal has seen a considerable increase in the movement of highly trained persons seeking opportunities abroad. This tendency has generated concerns about the nation's long-term effects. The migration of skilled labor is disappointing, and it is critical to address the underlying conditions that drive these individuals to leave their home country.

Cost of Education and Diminishing Returns

The high expense of education and training is one of the key causes of skilled individual migration. Our country does not have a tradition of part-time job opportunities, which might benefit students with their pocket money and support their family. Many prospective professionals devote substantial time and resources to obtaining the essential skills and qualifications. However, when they join the job market, they are frequently met with poor pay that falls short of their aspirations and the time and effort they put into their studies.

Furthermore, in Nepal, the private sector frequently fails to offer enough compensation and timely payment. Skilled professionals regularly face months-long salary delays, which have a severe influence on their financial security and motivation. It can eventually have a negative impact on employment, obligations, responsibilities, and mental health. 

It is also critical to remember that entrepreneurship is not the only way for talented people to contribute to society or achieve success. The main reasons why all eligible employees cannot become entrepreneurs are risk aversion, a lack of commercial understanding, and a lack of resources. The gap between education expenditure and subsequent income drives many skilled individuals to seek better possibilities elsewhere.

Opportunities and Stability Abroad

Another important element driving skilled labor migration is the temptation of better prospects and stability in foreign countries. Overseas countries frequently offer higher pay, better working circumstances, career growth and development, recognition, and more attractive employment opportunities. This drives skilled individuals who want to provide a better future for their families. Fair compensation is hardly followed in organizations.

Furthermore, skilled professionals are held in great regard in several countries. This acknowledgement and acknowledgment add to the appeal of going abroad, since it not only provides financial benefits but also gives persons a sense of professional fulfillment and worth.

Future Consequences

While skilled labor migration may appear to be helpful to individuals, it poses significant obstacles to the nation's future. Nepal's economy suffers from brain drain, with its brightest minds and talented professionals moving to other countries. This outflow undermines the country's ability to develop and innovate, ultimately restricting its progress and competitiveness in the global arena.

Furthermore, the loss of competent individuals leaves a huge deficit in important industries such as healthcare, engineering, education, and technology. Nepal is trapped in a vicious cycle, as a lack of trained labor leads to inadequate service quality, discouraging investment and impeding economic growth. The current situation needs the immediate establishment of strong policies to maintain and recruit competent workers within the country.

Government Intervention and Policy Reforms

Addressing the challenges associated with the migration of skilled manpower should always remain the major concern of the government. It must realize the urgency of the situation and take decisive measures to reduce the problems.

Firstly, the government should prioritize improving employment opportunities for skilled individuals in the country. This includes improving the business environment, encouraging entrepreneurship, and creating job opportunities with competitive salaries and development possibilities. Furthermore, developing systems to ensure timely and equitable payment in the private sector will rebuild trust and encourage skilled individuals to remain in Nepal.

Secondly, education and vocational training investments are critical for preparing the next generation with the skills required for the changing work market. By connecting the academic curriculum with industrial demands, the government may ensure that graduates are appropriately prepared to contribute to the nation's development. Furthermore, scholarships and grants should be made accessible to talented persons to reduce the burden of educational fees, encouraging them to stay and work in the country.

Additionally, the government should work with the private sector to establish an enabling climate that nurtures innovation and promotes the growth of start-ups in a cumulative manner. Nepal could capitalize on the potential of skilled individuals and give them possibilities to thrive within the country by cultivating an entrepreneurial culture and giving access to capital and mentorship.


The migration of skilled manpower from Nepal, including doctors, nurses, clinical personnel, laboratory personnel, IT professionals, and researchers, is indeed a significant concern for the country. It poses multiple challenges and serves as a wake-up call for Nepal to address the underlying issues leading to this unfortunate trend in the prevailing circumstances. The challenges faced by these professionals, such as inadequate compensation, delayed salaries, and limited opportunities, have forced them to seek better prospects abroad. However, this trend poses significant risks to the nation's future, hampering economic growth and development.

To reverse this trend, the government must take immediate action by implementing policies that address the root causes of skilled migration. By improving employment prospects, investing in education, and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, Nepal can retain and attract its skilled manpower. It is only through such concerted efforts that the nation can build a prosperous future, where skilled individuals can thrive and contribute to the growth and development of their own country.

To mitigate the negative consequences of this "Brain drain," it is essential for Nepal to focus on creating an enabling environment that offers competitive opportunities, fair compensation, and professional growth prospects. By investing in human capital development, retaining skilled professionals, and creating a favorable ecosystem, Nepal can mitigate the gap in technical assessment and human resources caused by the migration of skilled manpower.

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