Thank you Tom for your answer.
I wanted to follow up regarding my first two questions (the ILR consideration is secondary; I would prioritise being able to stay and work in the UK).
Can I switch from a Tier 2 to a Tier 5 (youth mobility scheme) visa, and look for work while on a Tier 5 visa?
Once working on a Tier 5 visa, can I switch back to a Tier 2 visa (after the 12 mth cooling-off period had finished)?
If I leave the country temporarily, can I switch from a Tier 2 to a Tier 5 visa?
Also, if I leave the country temporarily, can I switch from a Tier 5 to a Tier 2 visa?
Tom - if I leave the UK and wait 12 months to come back on a Tier 2 visa, can I visit the UK in the meantime? Is the 'cooling off' period only for working in the UK on a Tier 2 visa, or can I be on a Tier 5 visa (and be in the UK) in the meantime?