Policy Responses to Skilled Migration: Retention, Return and Circulation




Wickramasekara P


International Labour Office

Series/Journal Title:

Perspectives on Labour Migration




With globalisation trends, the emigration of highly skilled persons from developing countries has significantly increased. The implication of this movement of skilled labour (termed as “the brain drain”) has emerged as an important issue of international debate in recent years. The objective of the paper is to look at different possible policy responses which can minimize its adverse effects, and which can promote the sharing of gains between source and host countries. The paper focuses on three policy approaches: retention, return and circulation of skills. It argues that the best strategy to deal with the problem of loss of skilled labour is one based on the concept of circulation of skills, which yields mutual benefits for both sending and host countries. The paper highlights several measures that can facilitate the process of circulation, including greater cooperation between countries of origin and host countries than observed at present. [summary]


Resource Type