SINGAPORE - Public transport operator SMRT has rolled out a new career scheme that will provide about 4,000 staff with better career paths, a broader job scope and higher pay.

The scheme applies to 4,000 SMRT rail division staff, from train drivers and station managers to technical officers and engineers. It will mean higher pay for staff who take on a larger role, said SMRT.

The scheme, modelled after the labour movement's progressive wage model, was launched on Wednesday at an event attended by NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say, senior SMRT staff and union leaders.

SMRT adopted a similar scheme for its 2,000 bus drivers last November.

Said SMRT chief executive Desmond Kuek: "The scheme addresses the career aspirations of our staff through a well-defined career progression ladder based on each individual's demonstrated ability and potential for higher responsibilities, with promotions and incentives that are aligned to recognise and reward exemplary performance."

It also introduces a specialist track for technical and operational staff, and creates new job roles for experienced staff, who will be able to take on more challenging tasks and mentor new staff. Senior assistant station managers, for instance, can be deployed to larger stations that are harder to manage.

In addition, non-graduates who join SMRT at entry-level positions will also have a chance be promoted to executive and managerial roles if they do well.

National Transport Workers Union president Rosmani Juraini, who is a train driver with SMRT, said the scheme creates greater career and development opportunities for fellow train drivers.

"They can also look forward to better wages as they climb the career ladder," he said.