The steady demise of Britain's once-mighty shipbuilding industry marked another milestone this week, when BAE Systems PLC (LON:BAE) announced it would cut 1,775 job over the next three years.

The city of Portsmouth will be the hardest hit as it loses some 1,110 workers, ending 500 years of shipbuilding that saw the likes of HMS Dreadnought and Queen Mary constructed in the south coast yard. 

The citites of Govan and Scotstoun on the Clyde River in Glasgow, Scotland, will lose 835 jobs, along with Rosyth, East Scotland and Bristol.

BAE will begin looking for voluntary resignations as early as Monday, while pay freezes are to be expected immediately. A spokesman for BAE said: "We have held two days of constructive discussions with our trade unions.

"This is the start of an extensive consultation process, and we are committed to working tirelessly together to explore all potential options to mitigate the impact of our proposals on our employees."

British shipbuilding continued to boom well after World War II, peaking in 1976, when 134 vessels were produced, but competition from other EU countries, Korea, Japan and China has seen the industry lapse into an apparently terminal decline, with only four vessels produced in 2011.