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Very, very nice women

It's a cliche familiar to all motorists. A distressed woman standing by her car waiting for a man in a van to get her back on the road.

Fortunately the stereotype is about to be challenged with the increasing chance that the "AA man" will be the "AA woman" as more females sign up to join the breakdown service's fleet of yellow patrol vehicles.

The AA says 53 women have applied to be in the first intake of its new advanced apprenticeship programme, launched this week.

While many of the trainees will join other parts of the motor trade, the AA hopes the initiative will also mean more women in its fleet.

Alison Finch, apprentice development coach for the AA, said: "I believe today's young women are strong, determined and focused, and a career in the automotive trade can offer the challenge that they are looking for."

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