Why graduates shifting abroad?
Textile graduates along with other students go abroad for two potential reasons; firstly to pursue the higher studies which is the lifetime dream of many students and secondly, they think themselves less facilitated in Bangladesh as compared to other countries after completing higher studies. In fact, students just after finishing the B.Sc. final exam can get a job as expected and due to the enormous demand, it has already been a trend especially for the BUTEX and any other public university graduates. The industry can successfully execute its functions with these graduates. It is worth mentioning that the Bangladesh textile and RMG industry basically deal with the traditional basic items like t-shirt, polo shirt, tank top, trouser, shirt, pull-over, etc. Bangladesh has already established her name in the elite list of RMG exporting countries and it is in 2nd position just after China.
Bangladesh could grip the huge market for its quality product with reasonable prices as compared to the competitor exporting countries. The industry executes such a massive number of orders every year that it can no longer explore other possibilities. Consequently, there is no or insignificant research & developments in the industry. Though it is the bitter truth that this ongoing business is not for all time and value-added items are essential in order to sustain in the competitive global market. Anyway, there is no extra valuation for the textile graduates who have masters or PhD degree at the industry level due to not having research & development culture rather they prefer the job experience to handle the orders at hand.
That is why graduates after completing higher studies from renowned universities abroad do not or cannot return home although having interests sometimes. They are then bound to equip those countries and contribute to their industry developments. Moreover, many experienced textile engineers are now shifting abroad as they forecast the real future situation. They could understand that the market of these cheap items is not everlasting and going to suffer unless changing the business trends.
How to retain talented graduates?
Those who follow the ongoing business trends can surely understand the necessity of the value-added and even diversified textile items. We merely depending on the traditional basic items cannot beat the competitors and as a result, cannot sustain in the market. We have to concentrate on product diversification and more precisely industry must emphasize on the R&D activities. Bangladesh Textile and RMG industry should come out from “Buyers-oriented” approach. They must not always just follow what the buyers demand rather they can develop some new but value-added items and offer to the customers. Thus surely can earn more and can be in the global race. Shifting the market from traditional basic items to value-added items like medical textiles, smart textiles, textile nanocomposites, and some other technical textiles, it is utmost to create a research culture in the industry.
Companies should increase their investments in R&D departments. Renowned universities should provide textile graduates with research degrees like M.Sc. and PhD with enhanced facilities if needed. We should assess research degrees to promote industrial growth and development. Proper evaluation will inspire textile graduates to pursue higher education abroad and encourage their return to Bangladesh.
In fact, almost the majority of the graduates with a higher degree would return, if they were evaluated properly. So it can be concluded that creating job opportunities for higher research degree holders can close brain drains and be used in our local industry. Otherwise, we are going to lose our existing position in the very near future.