That sounds about right (which is wrong)
It's the bloody 'extras' you end up having to pay for, I get that. DBS checks are rarely, ever, accepted outside the organisation they were requested from, but to charge an admin / processing fee (via an agency) is a disgrace, as is being employed via a sub-contacted agency. All taking a cut.
We've recently started going for limited hours / zero hour in some cases to escape the huge top slice the agencies take and it's been a revelation. Now we can afford to pay the going rate!
RE: The apprenticeship levy, I guess you don't pay that as you're not drawing down £3m/yr?!