The Labour Party's Skills Manifesto introduces several significant changes aimed at transforming the further education sector. These changes are poised to have a substantial impact on businesses operating within this sphere. This blog post provides a strategic overview of these key changes, their potential benefits and challenges, and the implications for businesses. 

Transformation of the Apprenticeship Levy 

Growth and Skills Levy: 

Labour plans to convert the existing Apprenticeship Levy into a Growth and Skills Levy. This new levy will allow businesses to allocate up to 50% of their levy contributions to non-apprenticeship training, such as modular courses and functional skills courses. The objective is to address key skills gaps and prepare the workforce for future challenges. 

Pros and Cons: 

The Growth and Skills Levy presents both opportunities and concerns. On the positive side, the ability to split funds can provide access to tailored, modular training that addresses specific skills gaps. However, there is concern that this shift could reduce the funds available for SMEs, which currently benefit from unused levy funds allocated by larger companies (Gifted Levy). Although Labour promises that non-levy payers will not see a reduction in funding, the potential reduction in quality of training is a significant concern. Maintaining high-quality training will require stringent quality control measures, adding further stress to an already struggling industry. 

Key Takeaway: 

While the Growth and Skills Levy offers flexibility in training allocation, businesses must be vigilant about maintaining the quality of training programs. The potential dilution of training quality counters past efforts to improve standards, necessitating robust quality control measures to ensure effective workforce development. 

Establishment of Skills England 

New Governing Body

Labour will create Skills England, a body designed to coordinate efforts between businesses, training providers, unions, and both regional and national governments. Skills England aims to ensure a highly trained workforce aligned with Labour's industrial strategy and the transition to a green economy. 

Pros and Cons

Enhanced coordination and alignment in the skills training sector could lead to a more skilled workforce. However, the challenges related to bureaucracy, implementation, and the risk of centralized control cannot be overlooked. The setup and operation of Skills England will incur administrative costs, potentially diverting resources from direct training initiatives. 

Key Takeaway: 

The establishment of Skills England may strain resources allocated to direct training programs, particularly in light of the Growth and Skills Levy allowing businesses to allocate up to 50% of their contributions to non-apprenticeship training. Businesses need to monitor this development closely to ensure that resource allocation and training quality are not compromised

Youth Guarantee 

Training and Employment Support

Labour has committed to a youth guarantee, ensuring that all 18- to 21-year-olds have access to training, an apprenticeship, or support to find work. This initiative aims to combat high levels of youth unemployment and NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) status. 

Pros and Cons

While the youth guarantee could have positive social and economic impacts, it requires careful implementation and sufficient resources to ensure its success and sustainability. Previous initiatives like the Youth Contract (2012-2015) and the Kickstart Scheme (2020-present) faced challenges such as insufficient employer engagement and complicated paperwork. 

Key Takeaway: 

For the youth guarantee to succeed, Labour must address the shortcomings of previous initiatives. Ensuring effective employer engagement, raising awareness among eligible youths, and simplifying the scheme's complexity are critical to its success. 

Integration of Further and Higher Education 

Comprehensive Strategy: 

Labour will develop a comprehensive strategy to better integrate further and higher education. This strategy aims to clarify the roles of different training providers, facilitate student mobility between institutions, and strengthen regulation to ensure high-quality teaching and learning. 

Pros and Cons

Better integration can align educational programs with labor market needs, ensuring that graduates possess the required skills and knowledge. However, allocating sufficient resources to support these changes without compromising other areas of education funding can be challenging. Additionally, there is a risk that integration could disproportionately benefit larger, more established institutions, marginalizing smaller providers and disadvantaging students. 

Key Takeaway: 

The integration of further and higher education is a commendable initiative, but it requires a considered approach to ensure fair implementation. Ensuring that all regions benefit equally from the integration and addressing potential inequalities in educational access and quality are crucial for its success. 

Strategic Recommendations for Businesses 

Business leaders should closely monitor these developments to strategically align their workforce planning and training investments with the new policies. Adapting to these changes will be crucial for leveraging the benefits of the reformed funding and skills development landscape. Key strategies include: 

By proactively adapting to Labour's Skills Manifesto, businesses can navigate the changing landscape effectively and ensure a well-trained, competitive workforce for the future. 

I'm Kathryn Jones, and I am Head of PMO at United Utilities, the water company for the North West. In this blog I want to share some insights from a recent webinar where I had the opportunity to talk about the Project Data Analytics (PDA) Coalition. United Utilities is a proud member of this coalition, and I'd like to walk you through why we joined, what we hope to achieve, and the exciting potential this collaboration holds for the future of project management.

What is the Project Data Analytics Coalition?

The PDA Coalition is a collective of industry-leading organisations that have come together to explore and leverage the power of data analytics in project management. The fundamental belief driving this coalition is that the challenges and opportunities presented by Project Data Analytics are too vast and complex for any single organisation to tackle alone. By pooling our resources, knowledge, and expertise, we aim to accelerate our progress and drive significant improvements in project delivery.

Why Did United Utilities join?

At United Utilities, we recognise that the developments in Project Data Analytics and AI are going to evolve the way projects are delivered in the future. We want to ensure our business is embracing this change, building the skills needed and realising the potential benefits, to help us successfully and more efficiently delivery our capital projects and programmes. The pace at which Project Data Analytics and AI are evolving means that no single organisation can have all the answers. By joining the Coalition, we benefit from shared knowledge, cross-sector insights, and a collective approach to problem-solving. This collaboration is not just about sharing ideas, but the practical application of project data analytics into our organisation and speeding up our journey and adoption of AI solutions and the necessary Project Data analytical skills our teams need.

Key Focus Areas

So where do we start?  As a coalition we have identified three key areas to explore, where we see real potential to unlock new opportunities. They are; risk management; assurance; and scheduling . By focusing on these specific topics, we aim to reimagine how they might work in the context of advanced data analytics. The goal is to develop tangible case studies and deployed examples that demonstrate the real-world benefits of these solutions. We're leveraging tools like project data analytics apprenticeships and hackathons to bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to these challenges. 

The Approach: Lego Blocks

These collective efforts can be compared to building a new Lego model. Each organisation contributes a piece of the puzzle, and together, we assemble these Lego blocks to create comprehensive solutions. This collaborative approach allows us to move faster and more efficiently than if we were working in isolation.

Real-World Applications and Future Prospects

A critical aspect for us as a coalition is to ensure that we can demonstrate robust business cases for change on the ‘Lego block’ solutions. By demonstrating clear benefits of the new solutions, such as increased capacity and efficiency, we aim to build momentum within our organisations and across the industry. This is not just theory; we're applying these concepts to real-world problems, testing solutions, and scaling successful initiatives.

Encouragement to Get Involved

During the webinar, we emphasised the importance of active participation. This coalition is not a spectator sport; it requires energy, commitment, and a willingness to step into the unknown. It does require individual and collective effort. The pace at which each organisation within the coalition may be able to move will be subject to their own individual circumstances, some will be able to pioneer and reimagine quickly and see step changes in their approach, others may need to go through the change in a more gradual way, but embracing a collaborative approach as a coalition we will move faster.  For example one of the key principles of the coalition is that we open source our solutions that we develop through the coalition, apprenticeships and hacks so that each member can in turn adopt them, along with the business cases back into our own organisations. 

If this initiative interests you, we encourage you to get involved. Join our product groups, nominate team members for apprenticeships, and participate in hackathons. The more we contribute collectively, the more impactful our results will be.


In wrapping up the session, I urged everyone to revisit the webinar content and dive deeper into the materials provided. There's a wealth of information to absorb, and we are just at the beginning of this exciting journey. As we move forward, I am confident that our collaborative efforts will lead to significant advancements in project data analytics and transform how we deliver projects.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to checking in with all of you in the coming months to share our progress and continue this journey together. Let's harness the power of data analytics to reshape the future of project management!

Explore the future of Risk Management with our new book. Read how to mitigate the risk of your role being reimagined. Download our free E-Book today and let's transform the future of project delivery together.

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Get ready for an action-packed year ahead with our lineup of events designed to inspire, innovate, and connect within our vibrant data analytics community!

Rolls Royce, Derby: October 22-23 Dive deep into data analytics challenges and explore groundbreaking insights in the heart of innovation. Don't miss this opportunity to make a real impact alongside industry leaders.

Meetups and Webinars Throughout the Year Stay connected and engaged with our dynamic data analytics community through a range of meetups and webinars. From thought-provoking discussions to hands-on workshops, these events are essential for networking, learning, and staying at the forefront of the field.

Don't miss out on these incredible opportunities to learn, grow, and connect in 2024!

See you there!

In the fast-paced world of construction management, the ability to harness data-driven insights is paramount for driving efficiency and success. At Projecting Success, we are constantly exploring innovative technologies to empower portfolio managers with tools that optimise project performance. In this blog post, we delve into the realm of anomaly detection using PyOD, a powerful Python library, to identify potential outliers in construction project data. While our focus is on the construction sector, the principles discussed here are universally applicable across industries.


PyOD PyOD, short for Python Outlier Detection, is a versatile library designed to detect outliers in multivariate data (data where each entry has multiple variables). It offers a comprehensive suite of algorithms and techniques for outlier detection, ranging from traditional statistical methods to advanced machine learning approaches. By leveraging PyOD, portfolio managers can gain valuable insights into project performance and identify potential anomalies that may impact project timelines, budgets, or resource allocation.

Application in the construction sector

In the construction industry, portfolio managers face the challenge of managing multiple projects simultaneously, each with its unique set of variables and constraints. PyOD offers a powerful solution for identifying outliers in project performance based on high-level project data such as budget, duration, and work hours. By applying outlier detection techniques, portfolio managers can:

  1. Gain Insights into Project Performance: Analyse project data to identify outliers that deviate significantly from the norm, indicating potential issues or anomalies in project execution.
  2. Optimise Resource Allocation: Identify projects with outlier performance metrics and reallocate resources as needed to ensure optimal project outcomes and resource utilization.
  3. Enhance Decision-Making: Make informed decisions based on data-driven insights, leveraging PyOD to identify outliers and prioritise actions to mitigate risks and maximise project success.

Demo: Identifying Project Outliers

In our example we showed how PyOD can be applied to identify potential outliers in construction project data:

  1. Data Generation: Generate synthetic data representing high-level project variables such as budget, duration, and work hours.
  2. Building the Model: Utilise PyOD's KNN outlier detection model to build a robust outlier detection system.
  3. Applying the Model: Apply the trained model to the portfolio data to identify potential outliers based on project performance metrics.


In conclusion, PyOD offers a powerful toolkit for portfolio managers in the construction sector to identify potential outliers in project performance data. By leveraging data-driven insights, portfolio managers can optimise resource allocation, mitigate risks, and drive project success. This blog post has highlighted just one use case for PyOD in the construction industry, showcasing its potential to revolutionize project management and drive efficiency and innovation.

Wow, the pace of AI development continues to amaze me. Now we have Llama 3 and if like us here at Projecting Success you have taken an open source first approach and built technology agnostic infrastructure, then you might be thinking of leveraging it.

This release features pretrained and instruction-fine-tuned language models with 8B and 70B parameters, making it capable of supporting a broad range of use cases and it demonstrates state-of-the-art performance on various industry benchmarks and offers new capabilities, including improved reasoning.

With its 8B and 70B parameter models, Llama 3 can predict outcomes based on historical data. It enables accurate forecasting and trend analysis, essential for data-driven decision-making.

Whether you’re a project manager, data scientist, or business analyst, integrating Llama 3 into your existing workflows can yield significant benefits for project delivery.

Benefits of Llama 3 Integration

Enhanced Decision-Making:

Increased Efficiency:

Scalability and Flexibility:

Improved Communication:
Predictive Modeling:

Cost Implications

Initial Investment:
Maintenance Costs:

Resource Allocation:

Training and Skill Development:

It’s obviously not the only game in town, but we will be finding out just how good it is by integrating Llama 3 into our project delivery workflows, and seeing how powerful its capabilities to drive efficiency and enhance decision-making really are! How much is it a catalyst for data-driven success above it’s rivals? Watch this space.

One-Day Course 9am-5pm: Tailored for Senior Leaders

Next Dates:

3 September, 2024

20 November, 2024

Location: Victory Services Club, London

Cost: The course costs £595 per delegate or £495 for early bird bookings.

There is a further 25% discount if you have a delegate on our PDA apprenticeship.

Food and Refreshments: Provided Throughout the Day
Taught by Industry Experts: Gain Insights from Leading Professionals

A one-day no-waffle tour of the world of AI and data analytics, to demystify what it is, how it can be applied to projects to transform project performance, and the critical actions senior leaders must take to make it happen.

Who this course is for

In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety” Abraham Maslow

Senior leaders have been telling us they are swamped with offers of help to improve their project performance through using the new oil of business (data and AI). They also tell us they find the jargon baffling and that it is different to the language of projects, it can sound far too like science fiction, the solutions being pitched may involve buying expensive licenses for yet another project management tool or add-on, there is a worry that it requires investment in supercomputers or there is rightly a cautiousness regarding data and cyber security. Senior leaders tell us they fear missing out, of not taking the opportunity to use the power of AI and data analytics to tackle the stubborn issues affecting project performance. But as luring as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other Generative AI platforms are, they are equally concerned about reputational risk or unintended consequences of using it. It’s right dilemma.

If that sounds like you, then this is the course that will help you cut through the hype to gain clarity about what’s possible right now, what will very soon be upon us and what you can do. This course is specifically designed for senior leaders with the following remits:

· Head of PMO or Head of Centre of Excellence

· Head of projects or Head of Profession

· Head of associated functions, e.g. assurance, risk

· Portfolio director/manager or project/programme director of a major project

Join like-minded people who have the same curiosity and desire to be at the forefront of transforming the profession.

What you will learn

You will learn how to tackle some of the following key challenges:

· How to differentiate the hype from reality. What is project data analytics and AI, with examples?

· What does this mean for the project delivery function and future roles? How should teams prepare?

· What is the state of the market?

· Who owns the data, rights of access, how do we contract for it?

· How do we drive up data quality? How can we trust it?

· How do we get the massive data sets that we need to train the AI models? Can we do it with just our own data or do we need to pool data and if so, how?

· How do we develop a strategy, roadmap and implementation plan? How do we take people with us when it could mean a fundamental change to their job or role?

What you will get

The course is limited to 20 attendees as it is delivered in a participative hands-on workshop format. You will be provided with a workbook that will help with your sense-making of the possibilities of AI and Data Analytics, the readiness of your organisations to use it and the steps you can take to fully exploit it. You will leave with an outline action plan specifically for your context, whether that is applying it to your project, to your function or your enterprise as a whole.


The one-day course starts at 09:00 and finishes at 16:45 followed by networking.

· Module 1 – Objectives and introductions

· Module 2 - Demystifying AI and data analytics

· Module 3 - Opportunities to transform project delivery

· Module 4 - It’s all about the data

· Module 5 – What about tools/systems

· Module 6 – AI and data literacy/skills

· Module 7 – Making it reality

· Module 8 – Summary & Networking


The Senior Leaders AI Playbook course is hosted by Andy Murray, the executive director of the Major Projects Association and renowned author of the IPA’s project routemap, P3M3 maturity model and PRINCE2 (among others). Andy is joined by co-host Martin Paver, CEO of Projecting Success, the founder of the Project Data Analytics Task Force and often cited as one of the leading figures in driving the adoption of AI and data analytics by the project profession.

Each course includes a different guest expert speaker who will showcase an example of AI/Data Analytics being applied and their experience with it.

As the course is delivered in ‘workshop’ style we encourage all participants to contribute - you will connect others on a similar journey and have the opportunity to continue to work collegiately to exploit AI and data analytics. We can go faster together than alone.

Join us!

Authored by: ran cheng

In 2022, as a third-year PhD student, I came across Project:Hack 14, an online event hosted by Projecting Success on Eventbrite. Being intermediate in Python at that time, I was looking for hackathon opportunities to enhance my coding skills beyond my PhD studies. I chose the challenge of 'topic modelling' to enhance the bid team workflow and was fortunate to win first place, receiving an Amazon voucher worth £3,000, which I used to purchase a standing desk, a 4K monitor, and a new iPad Pro with full bundles.

The Proposal I made for Project:Hack 14

My Project:Hack Journey

After winning my first-ever hackathon, I attended the in-person Project Hack 15 and 17, teaming up with friends from Imperial, UCL, other universities, and project professionals we had never met before. We secured second place at Project Hack 15. Although we didn't win at Project Hack 17, we still learned a lot and enjoyed the hack challenges, learning new tech stacks by addressing the challenges and presenting the solutions.

Taking part in Project:Hack 17

pHD studies and beyond

After these hackathons, I gained significant experience in planning, building, and delivering data-driven projects. Most importantly, I gained confidence in tackling any hackathon challenge. By the end of 2022, I came across advertisements for Smartathon, a hackathon hosted by the Saudi Arabian government. Teaming up with three friends from Oxford and Cambridge, I successfully led them to win second place and a cash prize of £20,000 among 20,000 participants for delivering a complete end-to-end computer vision system for detecting potholes on national roads in Riyadh

After gaining experience from Project:Hack, I led another team to win at another big hackathon.

After finishing my PhD study in 2023, the hackathon experience from 2022 led me to join Projecting Success as a machine learning developer, where I continue to build AI solutions for digital transformation for our clients.

upcoming hackathons

Inspired by Ran's Story? Join us for our upcoming hackathon events:

Virtual Hack in Two Weeks Time: Dive into the world of virtual collaboration and innovation.

In-Person Hack at Sheffield University in June: Experience the energy and excitement of hacking in person.

Hackathons are exhilarating bursts of creativity and collaboration, offering a playground for problem solvers, tech enthusiasts, and innovators. At Projecting Success, we believe in the power of these events to drive innovation and personal growth. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider participating in our hackathons:

Skill Enhancement

Hackathons propel participants beyond their comfort zones. Whether you’re a seasoned coder or a curious beginner, you’ll acquire new skills. Projecting Success provides an environment where you can fine-tune your coding, design, and teamwork abilities. From rapid prototyping to debugging, every challenge contributes to your growth.

networking and skill enhancement at our hackathon

Networking Opportunities

Our hackathons attract a diverse crowd, like-minded individuals with whom you can collaborate, exchange ideas, and forge lasting connections. Who knows? Your next collaborator or mentor might be sitting across from you during a late-night coding sprint. We employed our very own Ran after meeting him on a hack!

Unleashing Creativity

Hackathons thrive on unconventional thinking. In our working lives, we can’t always explore using novel techniques against the status quo, but in a hackathon you’ll discover innovative solutions to complex problems. Whether it’s a novel app feature or an elegant algorithm, you’ll surprise yourself with what you create.

Real-World Problem Solving

Our hackathons often tackle real-world challenges. From sustainability to healthcare, you’ll grapple with issues that matter. The skills you acquire can be directly applied to your career or personal projects.

One of our successful hackathons

Prizes and Recognition

Who doesn’t love a prize? Even if you don’t clinch the top spot, the experience itself is invaluable.

Project Exposure

Your hackathon project won’t gather dust. Projecting Success showcases winning projects, and industry experts take notice of our Solutions Centre. Imagine presenting your solution to potential employers or investors and being able to explain its real-world effects. It’s a chance to shine and demonstrate your capabilities.

So grab your laptop, fuel up on caffeine, and dive into the world of innovation. Who knows? Your next breakthrough might be just a hackathon away!

Join us for our upcoming hackathon events:

Virtual Hack in Two Weeks Time: Dive into the world of virtual collaboration and innovation.

In-Person Hack at Sheffield University in June: Experience the energy and excitement of hacking in person.

I founded Projecting Success in March 2014. My vision was always to leverage the rich experience that we capture within projects and then use it to avoid the avoidable. My first foray into this world was via the route of knowledge management.  

At the same time as founding Projecting Success, I also co-founder of another business that I exited in 2016. Within this business, we employed 2 knowledge managers. My initial observation was that we weren’t doing enough as a profession to collect, curate, connect and leverage our knowledge from projects. I was convinced that knowledge management was the way forward.  

Pioneering Initiatives in Project Delivery

Along the journey I realised that knowledge management was failing to deliver. In times of organisational stress, knowledge managers were always an easy target. I had seen countless instances where organisations had invested in knowledge management, but when the champion left, the progress stalled or went into reverse. The pendulum often swung violently.  

In parallel I wanted to understand how project based organisations were leveraging their vast databases of lessons learned and whether there was a better way of curating this knowledge. I tried to get hold of these lessons learned, but repeatedly struggled. So I resorted to the only mechanism available to me; the Freedom of Information process.  

I knew that this would create issues and I discussed the implications at length with my team and mentors. But I knew that it was the right thing to do. I collated over 20,000 lessons learned and the insights from this work shaped my thinking considerably. I concluded that the process was fundamentally broken and we were approaching it the wrong way. 

That took me deeper into the world of data. I reached out to several large organisations to share the insights we had gathered, but they simply weren’t ready for it, plus they were often stuck in the challenges of the here and now. I saw that rather than try and change the profession alone, we should do it together, so in 2017 I established the Project Data Analytics community. It has since expanded to over 10,000 members.  

Showcasing Projecting Success

The following year we joined forces with Sir Robert McAlpine, via Gareth Parkes and Grant Findlay, and Microsoft to launch Project:Hack. A community hackathon with the objective of solving problems that we have in common, inspiring thousands of people along the way. On 11-12 June 2024 we are running our 20th event. 

In 2020 I reached out to a number of kindred spirits who shared a passion for making a difference. They agreed to join me on the mission and together we founded the Project Data Analytics Task Force. The Task Force has written a white paper, manifesto and a guide to getting started in project data. A body of work that has helped to raise the profile of project data analytics across the profession.  

In 2020 we also launched the Project Data Academy, funded by the government apprenticeship levy. It was apparent to us that if we want to move the dial on project delivery we will need a small army of people with the depth of knowledge to deliver it. The pioneers, the people with a passion for data driven projects, those who aspire to re-imagine the way we work. We have trained up hundreds of people, many of whom have carved out new and exciting careers. New roles have emerged and some of our alumni have gone on to achieve some amazing things. 

Impactful Collaborations and Partnerships

In 2021 we worked with some visionary people to found the Construction Data Trust, a world first, with a mission to pool the data from construction projects. A quest to codify, collate and curate our collective hard won project delivery experience that is codified in data. We were proud to see it featuring centre stage in the Private Sector Productivity Playbook in 2022. The Construction Data Trust, Projecting Success and other key organisations also had a significant input into the report on Measuring Construction Site Productivity

In 2022 we were appointed as the lead developer for the Offshore Energy Data Trust. Collaborating with 7 other organisations to securely pool data to drive down the £45 billion cost of decommissioning 4000 wells in the North Sea. Another world first, with the objective of pooling data on projects to avoid the avoidable, drive up investment certainty, optimise and drive a portfolio level approach. In parallel, we also worked with the Project Data Analytics Task Force to release a Manifesto for Data Driven Project Delivery. A seminal document that established a collaborative approach.  

Community Engagement

In 2023 we launched Marvin, a community chatbot trained on over 1000 documents, including copyrighted books. Another part of our community endeavours. We also released our ChPP wizard, helping project professionals with their applications to become a Chartered Project Professional. Not to game the system, but to level the playing field for those who may not have the level of mentoring support of the larger corporates.  

In 2024 we published our book on Next Generation PMOs, open sourcing it for the benefit of all. Mapping out how we can reimagine PMOs by taking a data driven approach. The first in a series of books we are working on to fundamentally reimagine project delivery.    

As we celebrate our first decade, we're proud to have hosted 19 hackathons, with our exciting 20th hackathon on the horizon. Additionally, through our collective efforts, we've raised £11,000 for our chosen charities, further demonstrating our commitment to making a positive impact.  

Project:Hack 17: Our community hackathon events

We’ve always been driven by our vision to transform project delivery by leveraging the power of data and AI. To make major projects more invest-able, improve delivery confidence and drive change across society. To enable and accelerate the energy transition, drive economic growth and make the world a better place. By joining forces, we believe we can achieve more, faster, and reach further than we ever could on our own. 

Reflecting on our first decade, it's heartwarming to recap the achievements and the ripple effects we've ignited – and the best part? We're just warming up. As we embark on the journey ahead, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our staff, learners, collaborators, and partners. Your unwavering support and dedication have been instrumental in our success over the past 10 years. Here's to the incredible journey we've shared and the exciting road ahead.

Thank you for being an integral part of our story.

Enquire now

Projecting Success aren’t just working on data driven project delivery, we are taking a pivotal role in shaping and creating this future. If you’d like to speak to one of our experts on the subject then please register below, or drop us an email to