More than 150,000 UK steel jobs have been lost since the 1980s, according to a new study.

In 1981 the industry employed 186,000 workers but the total has now slumped to around 32,000, said the GMB union.

The report was published ahead of more talks aimed at securing the future of British Steel amid continued speculation that the company could go into administration.

The GMB said Yorkshire and the Humber has suffered the most job losses – 40,000 -followed by the West Midlands with 25,800.

(PA Graphics)

GMB national officer Ross Murdoch said: “The decline of the UK’s steel industry is devastating to see.

“Consecutive UK governments have failed to protect our proud steel heritage, and now Theresa May is overseeing its demise.

“Ministers must be prepared to make use of all the options – including nationalisation – in order to save British Steel and the wider steel industry.

“We need a genuine commitment to manufacturing in the UK which focuses on investment in infrastructure and improvements to technology and training.

“It’s time the Government took their hands out of their pockets and stood up for steel.”