The resilience of unskilled Pakistani expatriates

Pakistani expatriates can be truly awe-inspiring even when they do not possess certified skills

The resilience of unskilled Pakistani expatriates


n the ever-shifting landscape of global migration, a prominent narrative emerges: that of unskilled Pakistani expatriates seeking a new lease of life in foreign lands. This exodus, driven by the allure of economic advancement and improved prospects, draws attention to the intricate tapestry of challenges woven into their journey.

As these individuals strive for progress, they encounter a spectrum of obstacles that test their determination and fortitude.

The decision to uproot one’s life and venture into unknown territories requires great courage, particularly for those lacking specialised skills. For many Pakistanis, the pursuit of stable employment abroad is paramount. However, the circumstances often relegate them to physically demanding occupations — construction, domestic labour and the like.

The absence of tailored opportunities thwarts their ascent up the career ladder, limiting the scope for financial growth and stability. Despite the facade of relative prosperity, a host of challenges confront unskilled workers as they attempt to navigate through life in a foreign land.

Interviews with Pakistani expatriates threw up the following challenges: First, it is challenging to secure employment opportunities that align with their qualifications if they lack specialised skills. This can result in them having to settle for physically demanding jobs, such as construction or domestic labour.

Unfortunately, such jobs do not present many opportunities for career growth or transitioning into better-wage fields. Consequently, those who are not equipped with specialised skills may find it difficult to climb the career ladder and achieve financial stability.

Second, it is not uncommon for individuals to strive for a better quality of life. Unfortunately, in some instances, this pursuit can lead to the exploitation of workers. This exploitation can manifest in a multitude of ways, such as extended and strenuous work hours, substandard living conditions and inadequate pay. This can adversely affect the overall well-being of these workers, causing them to experience physical and mental exhaustion as well as significant stress.

Third, many people who are not knowledgeable or experienced in a certain profession or domain often feel isolated because they struggle to communicate effectively with others due to language and cultural differences and busy work schedules. This difficulty in connecting with people in the local community or those who have recently moved to the area can result in feelings of loneliness and a desire to return to their home country.

Fourth, many workers face the daunting challenge of accessing healthcare and education. This is particularly true for those falling in the category of low-wage earners. These individuals often struggle with high healthcare costs and receive little support from their employers. As a result, their overall well-being remains at risk. Furthermore, their children face significant obstacles when it comes to accessing quality education. This lack of educational opportunities can severely limit their potential for success and upward mobility in the future.

Fifth, individuals who relocate to foreign nations and are not well-versed with the legal frameworks prevalent in the new country often encounter difficulties in comprehending their legal rights and obtaining legal assistance. Consequently, they become susceptible to exploitation and abuse, leading to a higher likelihood of experiencing harm or mistreatment. This predicament underscores the significance of providing adequate legal aid and support to those who have recently migrated, to ensure their safety and well-being.

Another problem is that workers from Pakistan find themselves in a difficult situation of needing to support their families back home. Unfortunately, many of these workers lack the necessary skills to earn a high income. This means that they are often financially burdened. This can make it difficult for them to pursue personal development opportunities or to achieve their ambitions in life. The pressure to send money home can have a significant impact on their quality of life.

Seventh, individuals in Pakistan who lack specialised skills or training face significant challenges during periods of economic recession and political turmoil. These individuals are especially vulnerable to unemployment and financial instability.

In times of unpredictability and instability, individuals lacking essential skills and training often experience the worst consequences. This can make it challenging for them to provide for themselves and their families.

The struggles faced by unskilled Pakistani immigrants in foreign countries are a testament to their unwavering strength and determination. Despite facing numerous challenges, they continue to persevere and strive for better lives.

We need to recognise and address these obstacles to create a future that holds more promising opportunities. By doing so, we can help these individuals achieve their dreams and aspirations, unencumbered by the constraints of adversity.

The stories of Pakistani expatriates lacking certified skills are truly awe-inspiring. Despite facing multiple challenges, they possess an unwavering drive to uplift their quality of life. Their journeys entail navigating unfamiliar territories and their tales underscore the remarkable resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. These individuals are a true testament to the power of determination and perseverance.

It is crucial to acknowledge that the path of unskilled workers should not be a solitary one. Governments and businesses have an obligation to recognise and tackle the difficulties they face. By establishing a network of supportive measures that encompasses workers’ rights, healthcare and education accessibility, and prospects for skill enhancement, we can cultivate a more equitable atmosphere. It is only by working together that we can aspire to a brighter future for all.

The story of unskilled Pakistani expats who travel to foreign countries is a compelling tale that encourages us to recognise our shared humanity that goes beyond borders and backgrounds. It reminds us that every person, no matter where they come from, desires a life of dignity. This goal deserves respect, understanding and action.

By acknowledging the challenges faced by these expatriates and working together to find solutions, we can contribute to a narrative of hope and progress where the pursuit of a better life triumphs over obstacles. In the symphony of global migration, the tale of unskilled Pakistani expatriates harmonises with the universal melody of human aspiration. The borders that separate us melt in the face of shared dreams for a dignified existence.

Their journey teaches us to acknowledge their struggles, paving the way for collective solutions. In embracing their narrative, we kindle a beacon of hope, illuminating a path where the pursuit of a better life surmounts all obstacles.

The writer has a doctorate in statistics. He tweets @kazmi_m

The resilience of unskilled Pakistani expatriates