David McHattie, the chief operating officer of People 1st, has been named as the chief executive of the newly launch National Skills Academy for Hospitality. The hospitality sector was given the go ahead in May to launch a National Skills Academy representing the industry, with the government agreeing to invest £100m in the project. A number of the industry’s main operators, including McDonald’s, Paramount Restaurants, InterContinental Hotels, Premier Inn, Accor, Barcelo and the Compass Group, also agreed to support the initiative financially. The Hospitality Academy approved programmes will be rolled out across cities in the UK through partnerships with companies and further education institutions, which will be given a kitemark to approve qualifications. Bob Cotton, who was appointed as the chairman of the academy, said: “I am delighted that David has agreed to lead this critical skills initiative for the industry. “David and I will be discussing plans through the summer, and industry should expect a period of radio silence before we launch our plan in the autumn.” McHattie has previously worked for a number of the industry’s main operators including the Restaurant Group, Fuller, Smith and Turner and Bass Taverns, which has now become Mitchells & Butlers.