In the West Midlands some projects are now on ‘tick over’ because materials are being creamed off by HS2.
The deepening problems are being reported by employment contract services group Hudson Contract, which said its clients are now running into serious supply problems.
The firm said contractors in the West Midlands were suffering most, caught in a regional squeeze from significant house building activity and major infrastructure projects in Birmingham including new stations for high-speed rail and facilities for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Ian Anfield, managing director, said: “Our clients are reporting serious shortages in construction products on the ground.
“Clients are telling us the materials crisis is outstripping the skills shortage as the main threat to their growth prospects.”
He added: “We need radical solutions to address these problems, starting with a drive to promote local and regional supply chains in procurement.
“This will benefit our domestic manufacturing industries for steel and construction products and create skilled jobs in left-behind communities across the country.
“At the moment, the UK is simply outsourcing carbon emissions to other parts of the world and this over-reliance on imports has made us hostage to events beyond our control.”
Anfield warned: “Local authorities should ditch large framework agreements with the main contractors and implement ‘buy local’ policies to build up local businesses and their suppliers.”