Cooperation between learning venues is a key characteristic stipulated in § 2 of the Vocational Training Act. The interlinking of theory and practice that cooperation of this kind facilitates is seen as the German VET system’s mark of quality. In day-to-day business, however, it is often unused and may even meet with rejection. If cooperation is considered in an expanded way, this model reveals whole new areas of potential for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to cope with the digital shift. This article uses the JOBSTARTER plus project “KungFu – Plastic goes Future” to illustrate how expanded cooperation between learning venues can be shaped to support SMEs in the digitalisation process.